For ease, make your train reservations online in your room and retrieve the tickets from the self-serve kiosks at the Lambrate Station (across from the Metro) or at Milano Centrale.
Places to Visit in (or near) Milano
**Please note that the things listed below are simply suggestions. I am not requiring you go anywhere. As with any situation, please make sure you're safe, you feel safe, and that you are comfortable with your surroundings.
One of best places to apperitivo is along the Naviglio Grande. It's a beautiful area in southwest Milan. An old river runs between two bustling streets. On either side of the Naviglio run several restaurants, bars, and shops. After sunset, street vendors come out and sell their trinkets. Easily reached by the Porta Genova FS metro stop.
Places to Visit
Hidden Courtyard Gardens along Via Vincenzo Monti and Corso Magenta.
Beaux Arts buildings along Via Vincenzo Monti, just south of the Cadorna Metro station
Rubina's Jewelry, 26 Via Vincenzo Monti
Il Pane bakery, just off Piazza Virgilio
E.E. Ercolessi, 25 Corso Magenta (fine writing instruments)
Buschemi Dischi, 31 Corso Magenta (Expansive music collection, CD and Vinyl)
A remarkable garden can be found tucked away on Via Cossa about 10 mins from the Palestro metro station
If you love gelato, here are two possibilities
I've been to this one, it is divine! On the way to The Last Supper off the Cadorna metro. Crowded, but the lines moved fast when I visited.
This one I read about online...looks great, close to Navigli Grande
Italian for bakery, I saw this place in a magazine back in the US and plan to visit at least once while I'm there this summer!
Luini's is close to the Duomo and serves sandwiches that I can only describe as really good HotPockets (b/c HotPockets are nasty). It's a hidden gem, known mainly to locals! It's a must do!
Oh, these are great! For about 8-10€ you can get a drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) and all the munchies you can eat. While the quality of the munchies range from place to place, while we're there in July, it will the perfect time to sit outside, soak in the culture, and enjoy ourselves!
Here are a couple of articles below that explain the etiquette of apperitivo (you shouldn't gobble down food and go back for second and thirds unless you buy more than one drink) and what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of each article to view some of the links too.
In Milan, The Best Meal Deal in Italy? (Thanks to Zelo!)
Here are some places I've read about online
Daniele, who works for the company that built this website, asked if I would add it to this page. After looking at the content, I readily agreed! If you are looking for things to do in Milano, this is an excellent resource for dancing, nightlife, restaurants, etc.
One of the teachers in 2009 suggested these websites as a way to find things to do and places to go!
Outdoor markets are an inexpensive, fun, and nutritious way to buy your food and practice your intercultural communication skills! I plan to take everyone shopping one day to fully immerse yourself in the colors, sights, and sounds of Italy! Be sure to bring money and be certain to watch your valuables!!
**These are just some places I found while looking on the Internet. You may be able to find better prices on transportation if you Google the actual outlet name.
Serravalle is a short 20€ bus ride from Milan (ticket & store/designer information here) and hosts over 170 shops with designer names. The website says that prices are discounted from 30-70%!
Foxtown Factory Outlets are also a short 20€ bus ride from Milan (ticket & store/designer information here). This outlet is located just over the border in Switzerland and has a casino, restaurants, and numerous shops.
Vicolungo Outlets, too, are a short 20€ bus ride from Milan (ticket & store/designer information here). This outlet is located an hour away from Milan, making it a pleasant way to spend the day. Here you will find 130 italian and international brands to peruse!
Misc Milano Things
Pedicures: You have to make an appointment, far in advance. In my five years here, I have not been able to find a walk-in place.
Solemania, P.le Stazione di Porta Genova, 2. 02-89423153 (no website)
Side Trips on our Excursions
When we travel to different places as part of our class excursion, you will have leeway as to some way to spend your time. Below are listed some extra trips, events, or opportunities you may want to partake. None of the things listed below are required; they are optional if your pocketbook allows and if you have an interest!
Today we travel to Stresa! A quaint town next to an absolutely stunning lake. In the morning, the course/class requirements ask you to participate in a visit to two islands. You will not be disappointed in this class excursion, I promise you! In the afternoon, you can spend time lounging by the beach and playing in the water. Or, if you'd rather, I found this very interesting trip up an Alpine mountain. I plan on doing that this year!
Blog about Stresa
Blog about Isola dei Pescatori
Weekend Trips to Consider
Thinking about getting away for the weekend, but not sure where to go? Take a look through some of these articles to see the amazing places you can visit while in Italy!
I spent three glorious days in Santa Margheria Ligure in 2012. I highly recommend going here if:
1. You want to spend some time on any of their great, clean beaches.
2. If you want to eat yummy seafood (but it can be a little pricey in some places).
3. If you'd like to head down the bay to Portofino, which is a lovely liittle town and world reknowned for being picturesque.
* * * * * * * *
In 2008, we stopped here for an afternoon and it was gorgeous!
I haven't been to this seaside resort town/beach, but it looks beautiful!
Just south of this town lies Sestri Levante. I have been to Sestri Levante....still have the sunburn marks on my back to prove it, haha! A beautiful town. The train ride was nothing short of interesting and very crowded! I would recommend getting there very early (between 9-10). You can either go to a free beach or go to a beach spot where you pay to enter. With the money you pay, you will get an umbrella and 1-4 chairs. The free beach we went to was quite lovely and in fact was next to the pay beaches. Just up the beach is a restaurant where you can eat the most delicious pizza and get a bowl of mussels that defies belief it's so big!
Bellagio, Lake Como
Ah, the beauty of a day on the lake, especially when it's somewhere nestled in the Italian Alps! This stunning location is a perfect spot for a one-day trip. Known throughout the world for its silk, there are plenty of shops where you can buy souvenirs and/or gifts for people back home at reasonable prices. Best of all, you can catch a train directly from Lambrate, which lessens your travel woes. A student and I did the "Walk Around the Suburbs of Bellagio," which was a great way to see the area...and great exercise too!
Getting Around the Lakes:
You take a train to whichever station works (we went to Varenna) and then grab a ferry over to Bellagio. Bellagio is not directly served by train from Milano. The tickets (2nd class) were only about €11 roundtrip!
The cost for a ferry from Varenna to Bellagio was about €7. The ferry service ends relatively early in the evening, but there was plenty of time for everyone to do what they wanted!
Things to Do:
Information from the local Tourist Office
Relax on the beach (about a 25 min walk from the ferry station). Like most beaches in Italy, this one is made up of pebbles.
Place to Eat
La Fontana is located up (or down) one of the many hilly side streets. The food is delicious!
I suggest you save this for the last weekend we're in Italy. The week right before, we will cover Italian Art. Florence is a treasure trove of some of the most beautiful and amazing art to be found in the world! Two art museums right in Florence house priceless artifacts and are well worth the afternoon spent browsing! Seeing the statue of David in person is breathtaking!
Read the following articles from The Washington Post Travel section (11 January 2009).
Here are links to tours I picked up while in Florence
Best of Tuscany Tour (Highly recommend it! A definite highlight of my 2009 trip to Italy! You MUST make reservations in advance.) It's a little pricey, but it does include lunch.
Another touring place you might want to take a look at
ArtViva: The Original and Best Walking Tours for Florence
PlusFlorence: Students stayed here in 2008 and had great things to say about it. I saw it and thought it was clean, quiet, and reasonably priced.
This is an historic coastal town on the Italian Riveria. There is an amazingly cool aquarium to visit as well as many different things to visit!
In 2009, some students found a great deal on Hotel.com at this 4-Star hotel:
Students who went highly recommended that people take the time to take the boat ride from Genoa to Camogli, Santa Margherita, or Portofino. There are beaches there where you can relax! (see my note above about Santa Margherita).
This is a short train ride away and a beautiful Swiss town. Mountain views, a lake tour via boat, and the scenery make it a terrific one-day trip! I went in 2008 and had a wonderful time! Go on Saturday, as many things are closed Sunday.
This is something I did in 2009 and it was worth the train ride! I LOVED my time there and could have easily spent 3-4 days there!! I was thoroughly impressed with my entire stay in the area! Someday I will definitely go back.
A Way to Save Money (I didn't use this, but picked up a brochure about it)
Hotel I stayed at
Restaurant I ate at
- Hostaria Plinio divine food, loved it!!
Sites to See
- Pompei Archeological Site (definitely spend the extra few euros to rent an audio guide!)
Herculaneum Archeological Site
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Napoli
What an amazing city! It's a city that never seems to sleep! There is something to do there at all hours of the day! I suggest you travel there the second weekend we're in Italy. You'll be accustomed to the time change by then and you'll be up for a big excursion!
While looking for a way to get around Bologna, I found these two bus tours that might be a convenient way to get around Roma
Another touring place you might want to take a look at
Where to stay in Roma!
Here is a list of places that previous students have stayed and recommended.
How to get to Roma!
High-Speed Train Service don't take a cheaper train that stops everywhere or is an older train. Not worth the savings.
In 2008 , not such fun for our group...it was hot, humid, tourists everywhere, crowded, ugh. What a nightmare! I went again in 2011 and had a wonderful time! It wasn't as hot or humid, although it was extremely crowded.
The third weekend of July is a fantastic weekend that hosts a great festival, complete with fireworks!
Venice is an interesting place to visit with an extraordinary amount of history, things to see and do, and the gondolas are pretty cool!
We are not taking a tour as a group, but this is a place you could do in a (very long!) day and see what you needed to see. Perhaps visit Venice and go to the beach on the same weekend. The train ride to Venice is about 3 hours, so you could catch a catnap to make up for the sleep you're missing!
ArtViva: The Original and Best Walking Tours for Venice