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Things To Do In Lombardy, Italy: Day Trips From Milan


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Liza Kiel



Welcome to Lombardy, a region in northern Italy known for its stunning beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Nestled at the foot of the Italian Alps, Lombardy is home to bustling cities, picturesque lakes, and charming towns that are perfect for day trips from Milan. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Lombardy offers a plethora of experiences to satisfy every traveler’s interests.


Begin your exploration of Lombardy with a visit to Lake Como, one of the most idyllic lakes in Italy. Take a leisurely boat ride across its crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the breathtaking alpine scenery. Explore the charming towns that dot the lake’s shores, such as Bellagio and Varenna, with their quaint cobblestone streets, charming shops, and waterfront cafes.


For a taste of medieval history, venture to the city of Bergamo. Divided into two parts, the Città Alta (Upper Town) and the Città Bassa (Lower Town), Bergamo offers a fascinating blend of ancient and modern. Wander through the narrow alleys of the Città Alta, soak in the panoramic views from the city walls, and visit the beautiful Piazza Vecchia, a picturesque square that serves as the heart of the city.


If you’re a fan of art and culture, make sure to visit Milan, the vibrant capital of Lombardy. Marvel at the intricate Gothic architecture of the magnificent Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Take a stroll along the fashionable streets of Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, known for their high-end fashion boutiques. And don’t miss the opportunity to admire Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, housed in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.


History enthusiasts will also appreciate a visit to Sforza Castle, a majestic fortress that once served as the residence of the ruling families of Milan. Explore its vast courtyards, museums, and art collections, including Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà.


No visit to Lombardy is complete without a trip to the Navigli District in Milan. This historic area is famous for its network of canals, lined with charming cafes and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll along the canal banks, soak in the lively atmosphere, and enjoy a traditional Italian aperitivo while watching the boats pass by.


A short drive from Milan will take you to Cremona, a city renowned for its exquisite violin-making tradition. Visit the Violin Museum and learn about the craftsmanship behind these delicate instruments. Don’t forget to wander through the beautiful historic center and admire the stunning architecture of the Cremona Cathedral.


Lastly, wine lovers will not want to miss the chance to explore the vineyards of Franciacorta. Located in the heart of Lombardy, this region produces some of Italy’s finest sparkling wines. Take a guided tour of the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in tastings of these exquisite bubbly creations.


With its diverse attractions and endless possibilities for discovery, Lombardy is a destination that will leave you captivated and longing for more. So pack your bags, get ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural beauty of this enchanting region, and embark on unforgettable day trips from Milan.


Lake Como

Located just a short distance from Milan, Lake Como is a captivating destination that enchants visitors with its stunning natural beauty and charming lakeside towns. Known for its crystal-clear waters and surrounded by breathtaking Alpine scenery, Lake Como has become a favorite getaway for locals and tourists alike.


One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lake Como is by taking a leisurely boat ride across its shimmering waters. As you cruise along, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and elegant villas that line the shores. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring landscapes.


The towns that dot the shores of Lake Como are equally as enchanting. One of the most popular towns to visit is Bellagio, often referred to as the “Pearl of Lake Como.” With its narrow cobblestone streets, picturesque houses, and colorful gardens, Bellagio exudes a timeless charm. Explore the town’s bustling waterfront promenade, discover hidden shops selling local crafts, and indulge in delicious Italian gelato.


Another must-visit town on Lake Como is Varenna. With its medieval alleys, colorful waterfront houses, and serene atmosphere, Varenna is a true hidden gem. Take a stroll along the lakefront and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Villa Monastero, a magnificent villa with beautifully manicured gardens that offers breathtaking views of the lake.


For those seeking outdoor adventures, Lake Como has plenty to offer. Hiking enthusiasts will delight in the numerous trails that wind their way through the surrounding mountains. From gentle walks to more challenging hikes, there’s a trail for every level of fitness. Be rewarded with panoramic vistas as you ascend to higher altitudes.


You can also embrace the tranquility of Lake Como by simply relaxing on its shores. Find a little spot by the water, lay out your towel or set up a picnic, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Enjoy a swim in the refreshing lake waters or rent a paddleboard or kayak for a fun and active day on the water.


As you explore Lake Como, be sure to indulge in the region’s culinary delights. Sample traditional dishes such as risotto alla milanese, made with saffron-infused rice, or enjoy fresh lake fish prepared with local herbs and ingredients. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine and savor the flavors of Lombardy.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Lake Como offers something for everyone. Lose yourself in its breathtaking landscapes, immerse yourself in the charm of its lakeside towns, and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, Bergamo is a charming city that seamlessly blends its rich medieval history with modernity. Divided into two distinct parts – the Città Alta (Upper Town) and the Città Bassa (Lower Town) – Bergamo offers a unique experience for visitors.


Begin your exploration of Bergamo in the Città Alta, a beautifully preserved medieval town that is perched on a hilltop. As you walk through the narrow, winding streets of the Città Alta, you’ll be transported back in time. Admire the well-preserved Venetian walls, which offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Visit Piazza Vecchia, the heart of the Città Alta, and marvel at its impressive architecture, including the Palazzo della Ragione and the iconic Torre Civica.


The Città Alta is also home to the magnificent Bergamo Cathedral, known as the Duomo di Bergamo. Step inside and be awed by its grandeur, with intricate artwork, beautiful stained glass windows, and stunning frescoes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Colleoni Chapel, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and a tribute to the city’s most famous military leader.


Descend from the Città Alta to the Città Bassa, the modern part of Bergamo. Here, you’ll find wide boulevards, bustling squares, and a vibrant atmosphere. Explore the pedestrian-friendly shopping streets of Via XX Settembre and Via Pignolo, lined with elegant boutiques, trendy shops, and charming cafes. Indulge in some retail therapy or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll as you take in the city’s contemporary vibe.


Art lovers will appreciate a visit to the Accademia Carrara, an art gallery that houses a remarkable collection of masterpieces. Admire works by renowned artists such as Raphael, Botticelli, and Canaletto, among many others. Immerse yourself in the world of art as you wander through the gallery’s stunning halls.


No visit to Bergamo would be complete without sampling its culinary delights. The city is known for its delicious cuisine, particularly its signature dish, polenta e osei. This traditional dish combines creamy polenta with marzipan birds, symbolizing the flavors of the countryside and the city’s connection to nature. Indulge in this unique treat at one of the local trattorias or restaurants.


With its rich history, picturesque views, and delightful blend of old and new, Bergamo is a city that will captivate your heart. Whether you’re exploring the medieval charm of the Città Alta or immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Città Bassa, Bergamo offers a travel experience that is both captivating and unforgettable.


Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s most picturesque lakes, is a breathtaking destination located in the Lombardy region. Nestled between the Italian Alps and the Lombardy plains, this stunning lake offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, charming towns, and historical attractions.


With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, Lake Maggiore provides an idyllic setting for relaxation and enjoyment. Take a leisurely boat ride and explore the lake’s enchanting islands, such as Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Isola dei Pescatori. Marvel at the elaborate gardens, historic palaces, and quaint fishing villages that adorn these islands, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture.


The town of Stresa is a popular hub on Lake Maggiore, offering a perfect base for exploring the area. Its bustling promenade, lined with cafes and shops, provides a scenic spot for a leisurely stroll. Visit the famous Borromeo Palace, an architectural masterpiece overlooking the lake, and explore its opulent interiors and beautiful gardens.


Nature lovers will find plenty to discover in the surrounding areas. The nearby Mottarone mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Maggiore and the surrounding Alps. Take a cable car ride to the summit and marvel at the stunning vistas. You can also embark on hikes and nature walks, immersing yourself in the beauty of the lush forests and alpine meadows.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the town of Arona is a must. It is home to the colossal statue of San Carlo Borromeo, which stands tall over the town and offers panoramic views from its observation deck. Explore the historic center of Arona, visit the impressive Santa Maria Assunta Church, and wander along the charming streets filled with shops and cafes.


As you explore the shores of Lake Maggiore, be sure to experience the region’s gastronomic delights. Sample fresh lake fish, such as perch or trout, at one of the lakeside restaurants. Indulge in local delicacies like the famous risotto with saffron or enjoy a glass of wine produced from the vineyards that dot the surrounding hills.


Whether you’re looking for relaxation, outdoor adventures, or cultural experiences, Lake Maggiore offers something for everyone. Lose yourself in the beauty of the lake, soak in the charm of the lakeside towns, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


The Duomo of Milan

The Duomo, or Milan Cathedral, is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most iconic landmarks in Milan, Lombardy. This magnificent Gothic cathedral is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Milan.


As you approach the Duomo, you’ll be awestruck by its grandeur and intricate details. The facade of the cathedral is adorned with over 3,000 sculpted statues, each telling a unique story and adding to the overall beauty of the structure. The sheer size and intricacy of the carvings are a testament to the craftsmanship and dedication that went into creating this remarkable masterpiece.


Stepping inside the Duomo is like entering a different world. The vast interior is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows that allow the sunlight to gently filter through, creating an ethereal atmosphere. Marvel at the intricate frescoes, admire the intricate mosaics, and take in the sheer magnitude of the space.


One of the highlights of visiting the Duomo is ascending to the rooftop. Climb the narrow staircase or take the elevator for a panoramic view of Milan. From the rooftop, you’ll be able to gaze at the city skyline, spot landmarks such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and appreciate the fine details of the cathedral’s spires and sculptures.


Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the archaeological area located beneath the cathedral. The Duomo’s foundations reveal the remnants of historical buildings and artifacts that tell the story of Milan’s rich past. The underground area is an educational and immersive experience that offers a deeper insight into the city’s history.


Adjacent to the Duomo is the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace of Milan. Visit this majestic building to explore its art exhibitions, historical artifacts, and beautifully decorated rooms. It offers a glimpse into Milan’s royal past and provides a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage.


When visiting the Duomo, take some time to explore the surrounding Piazza del Duomo. This vibrant and bustling square is filled with shops, cafes, and street performers. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, admire the elegant architecture, and soak in the lively atmosphere.


Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates beauty, the Duomo of Milan is an absolute must-visit. Its grandeur, rich history, and stunning artistry make it a true gem of Lombardy and a symbol of Milan’s cultural significance.


The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The Last Supper, painted by the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci, is a masterpiece that holds a significant place in the art world and cultural history. Housed in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, this iconic mural is a must-see for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.


The painting depicts the biblical scene of Jesus Christ sharing his last meal with his disciples. Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic genius is evident in the composition, perspective, and attention to detail portrayed in this monumental work. The depiction of the emotions, postures, and expressions of the figures creates a sense of drama and realism that captivates viewers.


Visiting the Last Supper is a unique experience that requires advanced booking due to its delicate state of preservation. Only small groups of visitors are allowed into the refectory at a time, ensuring an intimate and immersive encounter with the painting. The controlled atmosphere and dim lighting add to the solemnity and reverence of the experience.


As you stand before the Last Supper, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable details that da Vinci incorporated into the mural. Notice the expressions on each disciple’s face, capturing their varied reactions and emotions towards Jesus’ announcement of betrayal. Marvel at the use of perspective and lighting to create depth and realism in the composition.


Though the painting has suffered damage over the centuries, efforts have been made to restore and preserve its beauty. In recent years, intricate restoration work has helped to revive the colors and details that had faded over time, allowing visitors to appreciate the painting as close to its original state as possible.


While admiring the Last Supper, remember the historical and cultural significance it holds. Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece is not only a testament to his artistic genius but also a symbol of the Renaissance period and the profound influence it had on the world of art. The painting’s impact on subsequent artists and its enduring legacy cannot be overstated.


When planning your visit to the Last Supper, consider exploring the nearby Museo del Cenacolo Vinciano as well. This museum houses exhibits and displays that offer additional insights into the painting’s creation, Leonardo da Vinci’s life, and the historical context in which it was made.


Visiting the Last Supper is a truly awe-inspiring experience that provides a glimpse into the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and allows you to connect with a piece of art that has left an indelible mark on the world. With its historical significance, artistic brilliance, and spiritual resonance, the Last Supper continues to inspire and captivate audiences to this day.


Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle, located in the heart of Milan, is a majestic fortress that bears witness to the city’s rich history and architectural splendor. Originally built in the 15th century as a residence for the ruling Sforza family, the castle has evolved over the years to become a symbol of Milan and a prominent cultural hub.


As you approach Sforza Castle, you’ll be greeted by its imposing walls and majestic towers. The castle’s exterior reflects a fusion of architectural styles, ranging from medieval to Renaissance, showcasing the different periods of its construction and the influences that shaped it over time.


Upon entering the castle grounds, you’ll discover a world of history and art. Explore the vast courtyards, which offer a sense of grandeur and tranquility amidst the bustling city. Admire the array of architectural details, from the intricately carved stone decorations to the elegant archways that adorn the castle’s entrances.


Step inside the castle’s various museums and galleries to discover its rich collections. The Museum of Ancient Art houses an extensive collection of medieval and Renaissance artworks, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio. The museum offers a journey through the history of Milan, providing insights into the city’s artistic past.


One of the highlights of Sforza Castle is the Pinacoteca del Castello, an art gallery that showcases a diverse range of artworks from the 14th to the 20th century. Marvel at the intricate details of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts as you wander through the gallery’s halls.


While exploring the castle, don’t miss the chance to visit the Sala delle Asse, a room decorated by Leonardo da Vinci himself. Admire the stunning frescoes that cover the ceiling, depicting intertwining branches and foliage, creating a unique and immersive experience.


In addition to its cultural significance, Sforza Castle also offers beautiful outdoor spaces. The castle is surrounded by lush gardens and parks, providing a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely stroll, rest on a bench, or simply enjoy the beauty of the serene surroundings.


Throughout the year, Sforza Castle hosts various exhibitions, concerts, and cultural events, making it a vibrant and dynamic destination for both locals and visitors. From art installations to music performances, the castle’s calendar is filled with engaging and enriching experiences.


Visiting Sforza Castle allows you to immerse yourself in Milan’s past while enjoying its present cultural offerings. The castle stands as a testament to the city’s historical significance and architectural prowess, inviting you to explore its corridors, galleries, and gardens, and to discover the captivating stories hidden within its walls.


The Navigli District

The Navigli District is a vibrant and historic neighborhood in Milan that offers a unique and charming atmosphere. Known for its picturesque canals, lively nightlife, and artistic vibe, the Navigli District is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.


The district takes its name from the two canals that run through it, Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. These canals were originally designed for irrigation and transportation purposes during the medieval period but have now become iconic symbols of the neighborhood. Take a leisurely stroll along the canal banks, watch the boats pass by, and soak in the enchanting scenery.


The Navigli District is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene. During the evenings, the area comes alive with bustling bars, pubs, and restaurants. Enjoy a refreshing aperitivo, a popular Milanese tradition of having pre-dinner drinks accompanied by a selection of appetizers. Sit at an outdoor terrace, mingle with the locals, and savor the lively ambiance of the district.


Art lovers will find plenty to explore in the Navigli District. The area is home to numerous art galleries, studios, and creative spaces, showcasing the work of local artists and emerging talents. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene, visit exhibitions, and engage with the artistic community.


The Navigli District is a haven for food enthusiasts. The area is dotted with a wide array of restaurants, trattorias, and street food stalls, offering a culinary adventure like no other. Indulge in authentic Italian dishes, from regional specialties to international fusion cuisine. Don’t forget to try the local classic, risotto alla milanese, a creamy saffron-infused rice dish that will tantalize your taste buds.


One of the must-see landmarks in the Navigli District is the Vicolo dei Lavandai, a narrow alleyway lined with small buildings that were once public washhouses. This historic spot offers a glimpse into the district’s past and the daily lives of the washerwomen who used to gather here to wash clothes in the canal waters.


On the last Sunday of every month, the Navigli District comes alive with an antique market known as the Navigli Vintage Market. Browse through unique treasures, vintage clothing, antique furniture, and collectibles as you meander through the charming stalls. It’s a paradise for vintage enthusiasts and antique collectors.


With its vibrant atmosphere, artistic flair, and charming canals, the Navigli District is a neighborhood that captures the essence of Milan’s bohemian spirit. Whether you’re exploring the art galleries, savoring the delicious cuisine, or simply enjoying the unique canal-side ambiance, the Navigli District promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Milan.



Located in the Lombardy region of Italy, Cremona is a city renowned for its rich musical heritage and fascinating history. Home to exquisite violin-making traditions and beautiful architecture, Cremona offers a delightful blend of culture, art, and charm.


A visit to Cremona is incomplete without exploring its historic center. Wander through the picturesque streets and squares, lined with medieval and Renaissance buildings. Admire the stunning architecture of the Cremona Cathedral, a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Step inside the cathedral and be captivated by its beautiful stained glass windows, ornate ceiling, and the harmony of its various architectural elements.


Cremona is most famous for its association with violin making. Visit the Violin Museum, located in the Palazzo dell’Arte, and immerse yourself in the world of violin craftsmanship. Learn about the techniques, tools, and history behind these delicate instruments. The museum displays a collection of ancient violins, including those crafted by renowned violin makers such as Antonio Stradivari and his apprentice, Guarneri del Gesù.


While in Cremona, make sure to indulge in the city’s culinary delights. Cremona is particularly known for its traditional dish, torrone. This nougat confectionery, made with honey, almonds, and egg whites, is a local specialty that is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Sample this sweet treat at one of the local patisseries or at the annual Torrone Festival, which celebrates this beloved delicacy.


Stroll along the Po River, which runs through Cremona, and enjoy the tranquil ambiance. The riverbank is a popular spot for relaxation and recreation, with parks and restaurants that offer scenic views of the river. Take a leisurely walk or rent a bike to explore the riverfront and take in the natural beauty that surrounds the city.


Music lovers will appreciate the opportunity to attend a concert at the Cremona Auditorium or one of the city’s many historical venues. Cremona’s musical heritage is celebrated through various events and performances, showcasing the city’s dedication to preserving its classical musical traditions.


Cremona hosts several annual festivals, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the city. The Cremona Mondomusica International Exhibition, dedicated to the world of musical instruments, attracts visitors and musicians from around the globe. The Cremona Antiques Exhibition showcases a wide range of antique items, attracting collectors and enthusiasts alike.


With its authentic charm, historical significance, and musical legacy, Cremona offers a unique and enriching travel experience. Immerse yourself in the city’s artistry, explore its fascinating history, and discover the timeless beauty that has made Cremona such a cherished destination.


The Vineyards of Franciacorta

The vineyards of Franciacorta, nestled in the Lombardy region of Italy, are a hidden gem for wine enthusiasts and those seeking a unique wine tasting experience. This beautiful region is renowned for its production of sparkling wines, often compared to the prestigious French Champagne.


A visit to the vineyards of Franciacorta offers an opportunity to explore picturesque landscapes dotted with rolling hills, lush vineyards, and charming wineries. The region’s favorable climate, fertile soil, and meticulous vineyard management contribute to the production of high-quality grapes, resulting in exceptional sparkling wines.


Embark on a guided tour of one of the local wineries, where you’ll have the chance to delve into the winemaking process. Learn about the methods employed to produce Franciacorta’s renowned bubbly, from grape selection and fermentation to the secondary fermentation that creates the delightful effervescence. Engage your senses as you witness experts skillfully crafting these exquisite wines.


Of course, no visit to the vineyards of Franciacorta would be complete without indulging in some wine tasting. Sip on a variety of sparkling Franciacorta wines, noting the distinct characteristics of each vintage. From the crisp and refreshing Brut to the complex and elegant Satèn and the rich and full-bodied Rosé, the wines of Franciacorta offer a diverse range of flavors to delight your palate.


Pair your wine tasting experience with delicious local cuisine. Many wineries in Franciacorta offer gastronomic experiences that combine wine tasting with traditional dishes. Savor regional specialties, such as creamy risottos, artisan cheeses, and delicate freshwater fish, which beautifully complement the flavors of the sparkling wines.


Beyond the vineyards, explore the charming towns and villages that dot the region. Visit Brescia, the main city of the area, with its rich history and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval streets, visit historical landmarks, and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of the city.


For those seeking active pursuits, take a leisurely bike ride along the Franciacorta wine route. The scenic cycling paths wind through the vineyards, offering breathtaking views of the rolling hills and sparkling waters. Cycle at your own pace, stopping along the way to visit wineries, enjoy a picnic amidst the vineyards, or simply soak in the tranquil surroundings.


With its stunning vineyards, exceptional wines, and idyllic landscapes, the vineyards of Franciacorta provide a memorable and indulgent experience for wine enthusiasts and explorers. Immerse yourself in the world of sparkling wines, savor the flavors of the region, and create lasting memories in this enchanting corner of Lombardy.



Lombardy, Italy’s enchanting region, offers a wealth of experiences for travelers seeking a vibrant mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the serene shores of Lake Como to the majestic Duomo of Milan, there is something to captivate every visitor.


Embark on day trips from Milan and venture into the charming towns that dot the landscape. Explore the medieval beauty of Bergamo, immerse yourself in the musical heritage of Cremona, and lose yourself in the picturesque vineyards of Franciacorta.


Throughout Lombardy, the fusion of old and new is evident. Wander through historic centers, where ancient architecture coexists harmoniously with contemporary culture. Engage with local artisans, sample traditional cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Navigli District.


Art enthusiasts will revel in the opportunity to behold iconic masterpieces. Marvel at Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, admire the intricate frescoes of Sforza Castle, and delve into the rich musical heritage of Cremona, the birthplace of renowned violin makers.


As you explore Lombardy, be sure to take in the breathtaking natural scenery. Cruise along the sparkling waters of Lake Maggiore, bask in the alpine beauty of the Italian Alps, and stroll through the vineyards of Franciacorta. Each landscape offers a unique backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.


In conclusion, Lombardy is a region that seamlessly combines history, culture, and natural splendor. Whether you’re seeking architectural wonders, artistic experiences, culinary delights, or tranquil landscapes, Lombardy has it all. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of this captivating region, and create memories that will last a lifetime.