As one of the biggest cities in Italy – and the wealthiest in the entire country – Milan doesn’t lack great things to do. In this stylish capital of fashion and culture, you’ll find fascinating historical monuments, some of the best art in the world, and of course, legendary shopping opportunities.
But there’s more to the Lombardy region than its sprawling capital. And the imposing Fascist-styled Milano Centrale railway station is your gateway to the rest of the region and the rest of Italy. Italy’s train network is fast, efficient, and affordable, especially in the north, where Milan is, so there’s really no excuse not to hop on a train and see more of what this region has to offer you.
Leave your bags behind at a Milano Centrale luggage storage, and you’ll be ready to see more of what makes Lombardy so special. Try one of these fascinating day trips to get the best out of your trip to northern Italy.
Definitely one of the most popular day trips from Milan, this legendary lake is somewhere you simply have to visit. Stunningly beautiful and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, it’s easy to see why so many celebrities have houses here. Take a boat ride out onto the lake itself, or just enjoy the views with a coffee in one of the lakeside cafes.
If you want to extend your stay, there are plenty of idyllic towns and villages to explore around Lake Como. Bellagio is a particular favorite, as is Varenna with its pretty pastel-colored houses. You’ll find no shortage of delicious restaurants serving fresh fish and other local produce.
You won’t have to spend long in this region to understand why it’s a favorite vacation destination of the international jet set. It’s less than a two-hour drive from Milan to reach the lake, or you can take the train to Como San Giovanni and a bus from there to the lake itself.
Just an hour from Milano Centrale on the regional train, Bergamo is well worth a visit for its stunning medieval old town – one of the best preserved in all of Italy. Sitting high up on a hilltop, the views from Bergamo Alta are incredible, and you’ll find plenty of charming restaurants and cafes to enjoy while you’re there.
Don’t miss out on a visit to the Cappella Colleoni, one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, or the Accademia Carrara, one of the finest art galleries in the entire country. Bergamo is also a great base for exploring some of the other towns and villages in this region. Just north of Bergamo is Val Seriana, where you can go skiing in the winter or hiking and mountain biking in the summer.
The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is unsurprisingly popular with tourists. And it’s easy to see why. With its crystal-clear waters and Mediterranean climate, it feels more like the south of France than northern Italy.
Take a boat ride out onto the lake, go for a swim, or hop on a fishing tour led by a local. This place is so relaxing that you might consider extending your day trip to visit all of the charming villages on the lake’s shore. Particular favorites include Riva del Garda, Peschiera del Garda, and Desenzano del Garda.
Verona may be best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but there’s a lot more to this pretty Italian town than its place in English literature.
Make sure to see the Arena, a Roman amphitheatre that’s still used for operas and other performances today. You can also visit Juliet’s House, where you can leave a love note on the wall or enjoy a romantic moment on the balcony overlooking the courtyard. Don’t let the fact that this fictional character never lived in the house ruin your fun.
If you’re interested in art, don’t forget about a visit to the Palazzo Ducale, which houses an incredible art collection. And, of course, no visit to Verona would be complete without sampling some of the delicious local food and wine. The city is just over an hour from Milano Centrale by train, making it the perfect day trip for those short on time.
Bucket list destinations don’t come much more iconic than the watery city of Venice. Although it’s technically not part of Milan (it’s in its own region, Veneto), it’s still possible to visit on a day trip from the city.
It takes around two and a half hours to reach Venice by train, and once you’re there, you can enjoy all the sights and sounds that make this unique city worthy of your time.
Take a ride in a gondola, marvel at the architecture of St. Mark’s Basilica, or simply wander the narrow streets and soak up the atmosphere.
There’s plenty to keep you busy in Venice, but if you want to explore further afield, there are also some great day trips from Venice. Take a boat ride out to one of the nearby islands, such as Murano or Burano, or head to the city of Padua for a dose of culture.
If you want to visit an entirely different country on your trip to Milan, don’t miss the opportunity to see the incredible Alpine scenery of Switzerland. A two-hour train ride to Tirano lets you board the Bernina Express, an iconic red train that will take you on a two-and-a-half-hour journey through the mountains to the legendary destination of St Moritz. While this journey might be a little long for a day trip, it’s such an unforgettable experience that we couldn’t leave it off this list.
Switzerland is famous for its ski resorts, and St Moritz is one of the most popular. Even if you’re not a skier, there’s plenty to enjoy in this chic mountain town. Take a walk around the lake, go for a hike in the surrounding mountains, or just relax in one of the many luxury hotels and spas.
Whatever you do, make sure you try some of the delicious Swiss chocolate while you’re there!
These are just a few of the many great day trips you can take from Milan. With so much to see and do in this part of Italy, you’ll be spoilt for choice. So why not hop on a train and explore some of these incredible destinations for yourself? With your bags safely stored at a Milano Centrale luggage storage, you’ll be able to enjoy the very best of what the region has to offer.