Best Top 10 Milan things to do

Sforza Castle Milan things to do 2

Top 10 Milan things to do – Milan is a large city very oriented in the business world, but every year it attracts many visitors who particularly appreciate its monuments and fashion streets. What to see in Milan? What are the best things to do in this city? What is the history of its monuments?

Milan things to do

Here is our list of things to do in Milan.

  1. Castello Sforzesco (Milan castle sforzesco)
  2. Terraces of the Cathedral on the Duomo rooftop https://ticket.duomomilano.it/en/
  3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  4. Teatro la Scala https://www.museoscala.org/en/visit/
  5. Monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which houses the iconic ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci.
  6. Palazzo Reale
  7. Villa Reale
  8. I Navigli
  9. Museum of science and technology
  10. Branca Tower

Other things to visit

  • Sempione Park
  • ‘900 Museum
  • Aquarium
  • La rinascente

Let’s go to deepen together some of these things to see in Milan.

Sforza Castle: The Castle of Milan

The Castello Sforzesco has inside important museums, collections, and cultural institutes.

What is the history of the Castle of Milan?

The origins of the Castle of Milan, also known as the Castle of Porta Giovia (Jupiter Gate), is linked with the time of the Visconti rule. In fact, the Lord of Milan Galeazzo II Visconti, in 1368, commissioned a fortified structure to be built beside the city walls.

His successors, Sian Galeazzo (1385-1402) and Filippo Maria Visconti (1412-1447) reinforced and enlarged the castle and established their residence here. Unfortunately, the castle was later partially destroyed during the years of the Ambrosian Republic.

The Castle was later rebuilt by Francesco Sforza: the skilled military leader and Duke of Milan from 1450-1466. Francesco Sforza not only rebuilt the castle but also decided to rebuild it on a more grandiose and majestic scale. To do that, entrusted the project to famous engineers and architects such as Giovanni da Milano, Jacopo da Cortona, Bartolomeo Gadio, and Antonio di Pietro Averulino, also known as “il Filarete”.

The Castle, enriched and enlarged, could provide an elegant setting for the Renaissance court of Milan. The protagonist of this period were Galeazzo Maria Sforza (1466-1476) and Ludovico Maria Sforza “il Moro”, who was deposed by the French in 1499. The artists employed at the Sforza court included Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci.

From 16th to 19th century, the Castle was used by foreign forces as a barracks, stables and storage space. It underwent profound transformations during the long period of Spanish domination (1535-1706) when the sumptuous royal residence was turned into a star fort.

It remained a fortress until the arrival of Napoleonic forces in 1796. In 1800, Napoleon began the demolition of the fortified walls to make way for an area to be used in a grandiose project, the Bonaparte Forum.

Later, the unification of Italy sparked a fierce debate as to whether the Castle was to be saved or demolished, and only at the end of the 19th century did the desire to restore the monument prevail.

The work was entrusted to the architect Luca Beltrami who, between 1893 and 1911, rebuilt, among other things, the main tower, known as the “Tower of Filarete”, which had collapsed following an explosion in 1521.

Beltrami created the necessary spaces inside the tower to transform the entire building into a receptacle of the city’s historical memory.

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The Porta Giova

This name was the name belonging to the city walls of the communal era (12th century behind which Galeazzo II Visconti, in 1368, built the first nucleus of the Castle, the Castrum Portae Jovis, between the rural territory and the inhabited area.

Galeazzo II Visconti had defined the canons of Visconti’s military architecture with the construction of the Pavia Castle, which had already begun a few years earlier.

We can know what the north-western access to Milan was like, which opened between the Porta Vercellina and the Pusterla Delle Azze, thanks to a fourteenth-century plan of the city. This plan is taken from a codex containing works by the Milanese chronicler Galvano Fiamma and describes it as a small door with a single turreted and crenelated arch.

Gian Galeazzo Visconti succeeded his father in 1385 and added a “citadel” towards the countryside to the first fortified nucleus. In this way, the ancient urban wall was incorporated into the building and its relative moat lost all defensive functions, thus becoming a “dead moat”.

After 1412 Filippo Maria Visconti joined the two parts of the Castle with the demolition of the wall.

At the point where the ancient Pusterla Giovia presumably stood today, there remains a passage in the shape of a square enclosure equipped with two doors: one towards the Cortile Delle Armi protected by a drawbridge and one towards the Ducal Court.

The Duomo Cathedral

Milan Cathedral is the symbol of the city. We, therefore, want to know something more about this monument.

  • The Milan Cathedral Milan Things to do

Who ordered the construction of the Milan Cathedral?

The construction of the Milan Cathedral began in 1386 by the will of the then lord of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti.

When did the construction of the Milan Cathedral begin, and when was it completed?

The construction and completion of the Milan Cathedral took centuries. Here are the main historical stages of its construction:

  • 1386: Construction of the Cathedral begins
  • 1387: The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano is officially established
  • 15th and 16th centuries: The apse, the first spire, the transepts, the Tiburio, and the Amedeo spire are completed.
  • 17th and 18th centuries: The main spire is completed.
  • 1774: The Madonna is hoisted on the Spire Maggiore.
  • 19th (19th) century: Most of the statues and spiers are made.
  • 1965 The construction of the Milan Cathedral is completed with the inauguration of the last door.

The majesty of the Duomo

As soon as you see the Duomo of Milan, you are captured and fascinated by the grandeur of this building. This grandeur and magnificence are also evident from the following data:

  • 3400 statues
  • 200 bas-reliefs
  • over 3600 characters
  • 55 stained glass windows for a total area of ​​4250 square meters
  • 135 spiers
  • 150 gargoyles
  • 158 in external length
  • 93 meters external width
  • 11,700 square meters of internal surface
  • 96 giants
  • 108.5m high from the ground.

What is placed at the highest point of the Milan Cathedral?

On the highest point of the Milan Cathedral is the Madonnina. The Madonnina of the Milan Cathedral was placed on top of the Spire Maggiore, 108.5 meters above the ground, at the end of December 1774.

The statue is 4.16 meters high, it is supported by a stainless steel frame, it is empty inside and it is covered outside with embossed and gilded copper plates.

The statue of the Madonna was made from the wooden model by Giuseppe Perego. The blacksmith who made the original internal iron support was Giovanni Battista Varino, now kept in the Duomo Museum.

Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, whose construction occurred between 1865 and 1877, is a mesty-covered passage connecting Piazza Duomo to Piazza della Scala. Since its inauguration, it has been considered the “living room of Milan” due to the presence of luxurious clubs and shops.

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Terraces of the Cathedral on the Duomo rooftops

The visit to the terraces of the cathedral allows you to climb on the roof of the Milan Cathedral to appreciate its architecture more but also to enjoy unique views of the Piazza del Duomo and the skyline of Milan.

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To go up to the Cathedral’s Terraces, you have to buy an entrance ticket and the best way to do it is online on the official website: https://ticket.duomomilano.it

By purchasing tickets online, you can then go directly to the cathedral, to the relative access points for the ascent to the terraces.

You can choose whether to take the lift or walk via the stairs when purchasing your ticket. Depending on the choice made and the ticket purchased, you must go to the access point dedicated to the ascent by stairs or lift.

However, the descent from the terraces of the cathedral is always via stairs, even if you have chosen and purchased the ticket for the lift.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Milan is located in Piazza Duomo and was for many centuries the seat of the government of the city of Milan, of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto and then the royal residence until 1919. Today this splendid building has become the seat of exhibitions and exhibitions.

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Those who visit the exhibitions at the Royal Palace appreciate the works on display and the palace’s beauty with its large rooms and chandeliers of rare beauty.

The Navigli

The Navigli was a precious system of navigable canals that allowed Milan also to be connected by water to Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, and the Po ‘which in turn has its outlet in the Adriatic Sea.

We can therefore imagine the importance that these channels have had in the past for the transport of goods. The canals were also a precious water resource for the city and the hinterland. Leonardo da Vinci also contributed to this system of canals.

The heavy marble used for the construction of the Milan Cathedral was made to pass along these canals.

Today, unfortunately, little remains of this network of canals which is still a fundamental part of the city but for a different reason.

The Naviglio Grande area is the beating heart of Milanese nightlife. Here you can find excellent restaurants and places to spend a nice evening. In many places in this area, there is happy hour: with the purchase of the drink (only one drink), which is sometimes at a fixed price and sometimes you pay according to what is ordered, you can also eat from a buffet.

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This is a great solution if you don’t want to spend much on dinner but still want a nice evening in Milan.

The Milan Aquarium

The Milan aquarium is located inside a historic Viennese Art Nouveau building. It was designed by the architect Sebastiano Locati as a pavilion for the 1906 Milan International Exposition.

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The Milan aquarium has nothing to do with large aquariums like the one in Genoa: the path of the tanks is short and the tanks are compared to other small aquariums.

The interesting thing about this aquarium, however, is that the itinerary aims to make known the fish present in the waters of the local area. In fact, it follows the path of the water from the alpine springs up to 30 meters of sea depth, following the river Adda.

The visit to this aquarium is not surprising in terms of the fish present but it is still useful in order to enrich one’s personal culture with respect to one’s own territory or, in any case, to the territory one is visiting.

Museum of the twentieth century

The Museo del Novecento is located in Piazza Duomo and houses works from the twentieth century.

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Sempione Park

Parco Sempione is a green area of ​​the completely enclosed area of ​​Milan and is located near the Sforzesco Castle.

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Rinascente Store

One of the best-known stores in Milan. Here you can go shopping but you also find other things inside. For example, there is also a bar.

Milan things to do Rinascente Store
Milan things to do Rinascente Store

Where to eat without spending a lot?

Here are some places where you can eat well without breaking the bank.

Near Piazza Duomo

If you want to eat something good during your visit to Piazza Duomo without spending too much, you can go to the Panzerotteria Il Prisco.

Milan Metro Map

Italy Milan metro map
Italy Milan metro map

Day trips from Milan by Train

Here are some places that you can comfortably reach by train from Milan for a day trip.

Lake Maggiore

  • Stresa: even with direct trains without changes.
  • Laveno: even with direct trains without changes.

Lake Como

  • Varenna: even with direct trains without changes. From Varenna, you can also go to Bellagio by boat.

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Milan things to do – Related posts:

Lake Maggiore Italy

Verbania

Stresa

Lake Garda Italy

Malcesine

Lake Como

Frequent questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Milan?

The Milan Cathedral Milan Things to do

Here is our list of things to do in Milan: Castello Sforzesco (Milan castle Sforzesco), Terraces of the Cathedral on the Duomo rooftop, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro la Scala, Monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which houses the iconic ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci, Palazzo Reale, Villa Reale, I Navigli, Museum of science and technology, Branca Tower.

What are the most popular things to do in Milan with kids?

Milan things to do Aquarium 10

“Museo delle illusion” or Museum of illusions, Museum of science and technology, aquarium.

What are some fun things to do in Milan?

One idea is to visit the “Museo delle illusion” or Museum of illusions. It’s a museum for families dedicated to optical illusions, with exhibits of holograms and mirrors.

What are the best free things to do in Milan?

Sforza Castle Milan things to do 5

You can go to the Castello Sforzesco (Milan castle Sforzesco) and visit it from the outside. You can also enter the courtyard. Then you can go to Piazza del Duomo so you can see the amazing Duomo from the outside. You can also walk in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. For the evening, a beautiful walk along the Navigli is a great idea. The Naviglio Grande area is the beating heart of Milanese nightlife.

What are the top things to do in Milan?

Things to do in Milan Terraces of the Cathedral on the Duomo rooftops Piazza Duomo Square 4

Here is our list of things to do in Milan: Castello Sforzesco (Milan castle Sforzesco), Terraces of the Cathedral on the Duomo rooftop, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Teatro la Scala, Monastery of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which houses the iconic ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci, Palazzo Reale, Villa Reale, I Navigli, Museum of science and technology, Branca Tower.

What are the top things to do near Milan?

Lake Maggiore Borromean Islands Italy

Day Trips From Milan to Lake Maggiore.
From Milan to Stresa
Stresa is a gorgeous town on lake Maggiore. It has beautiful gardens, luxury hotels, and a beautiful view of the Borromean Islands
From Milan to Laveno Mombello
Laveno is a very nice town on lake Maggiore and you can arrive here from Milan by train in about one and a half or 2 hours. Laveno Mombello isn’t as rich as Stresa but it has a “very Italian style” and you can do very interesting tours from here.
Day Trips From Milan to Lake Como
One of the cutest towns in Lake Como is Bellagio. It takes about one hour and a half from Milan to get here.

Top 10 Best Things to do in Modena Italy

Top 10 Best Things to do in Modena Italy

Best things to do in Modena Italy. – Modena is a nice city in north Italy and, more precisely, in Emilia-Romagna. Emilia-Romagna is one of the 20 regions into which Italy is divided.

Modena is good food, beautiful architecture, and very interesting museums.

Modena is also the city of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the car manufacturer of the same name and the city of Luciano Pavarotti, the famous Opera singer.

Last but not least, we must say that Modena is the homeland of vinegar. The balsamic vinegar of Modena is a precious and appreciated ingredient worldwide.

What are the best things to do in Modena? Let’s see together.

Best Things to do in Modena Italy

What are the best things to do in Modena Italy? Here, you can find our list.

  1. Piazza Grande Modena
  2. Caffè Concerto
  3. Enzo Ferrari Museum
  4. Modena racetrack
  5. Torre Ghirlandina (Bell Tower)
  6. Municipal vinegar cellar
  7. Palazzo Ducale di Modena
  8. Pavarotti Municipal Theatre
  9. Estense Gallery
  10. Estense Ducal Garden Park
Top 10 Best Things to do in Modena Italy 1
Best Things to do in Modena Italy

Piazza Grande Modena

The Piazza Grande, with the cathedral and the city’s civic tower, is the city’s main square and is located in the historic center. Since 1997, it has been included in the Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

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Caffè Concerto

The Caffé Concerto is a bar and a true restaurant in a beautiful location in the city’s center.

At the Caffè Concerto, you can taste the typical local food, choosing among many specialties. It is amazing.

The price is very good because you can choose the menu with a fixed price.

The only thing you have to consider if you go with your family is that only people over 12 are admitted.

Website: https://www.caffeconcertomodena.it/

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Enzo Ferrari Museum

This museum offers the opportunity to see the beautiful Ferraris displayed like real jewels and also allows you to learn more about the world of this fantastic car.

In fact, the exhibition, among other things, allows the visitor to learn about the maintenance and restoration of classic Ferraris. This workshop restoration carefully seeks to restore its authenticity.

In addition to the classic cars on display, the visitor will also have the opportunity to see one-of-a-kind pieces handcrafted by expert craftsmen.

Website: https://www.ferrari.com/en-EN/museums

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Enzo Ferrari Museum description and experiences

The Ferrari Museum in Modena is a true treat and honor for the Ferrari car enthusiast and anyone who likes inspiring stories.

One of the amazing things about the museum is that it is not cluttered and spread out perfectly for you to enjoy without a crowd and to be able to enjoy at any age.

It’s a fantastic family attraction make sure you purchase the family ticket if you are a family or if you’re a single person or a couple. Either way, it’s an amazing treat for everyone.

You have to know that there are two Ferrari museums: one in Modena and one in Maranello (Maranello is about 20 km from Modena). In this post “Top 10 Best Things to do in Modena Italy” we’re talking about the one in Modena.

You can arrive at the museum by car and park it in the back, then you just have to follow the signs to get there. You can also do street parking just make sure you look for the meters. 

The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena is a true classic car lovers’ dream, you get to see all the way from the beginning with Maserati all the way to Ferrari Formula 1 cars. And don’t forget the beautiful candy apple red F40 Ferrari, one of the most amazing Ferraris ever made and the most iconic as well.

At the Enzo Museum, there are two separate buildings. One building of these two buildings is called the Officina Meccanica Alfredo Ferrari. This building is very interesting because there it has beautiful classic cars telling the story from the beginning. You also get a chance to peer into the office life of Enzo Ferrari because you see his first office there as well.

The amazing futuristic building behind you with the yellow top and all the glass is where all of the magic is and at regular intervals, they have a short film that tells the story of Enzo Ferrari and explains how the brain came to be. 

As you walk in, there is a bistro to your left it is a bit pricey for the food, for example a small panini sandwich is about 8 Euros, but it is great for a coffee. The lunch is not a problem because the museum only takes about 1 hour and it is better to eat and taste the food in one of the good restaurants in Modena: you are in one of the best Italian cities for food!

As you walk in you’ll see the gift shop to the right-hand side, but you don’t need to worry about that yet because as you exit you walk right into it: they have many amazing Ferrari collectibles items even a steering wheel for sale.

Inside the main Auditorium, you will see a menagerie of cars, Off-roading cars sporting cars even cabriolets. You’ll even see a mock-up design of a wood and metal frame car all the way toward the back. 

As you walk down the ramp, they have a beautiful engine room all the way in the back and splitting the differences between the engines the turbo-powered, non-turbo power and so many more you get a chance to really peer into what makes a Ferrari a Ferrari.

It helps you to understand Enzo Ferrari’s thinking and the passion that goes into the vehicle. You really get a chance to embrace one of his famous quotes saying I don’t sell cars I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free since something has to hold the engines in.

If you want to, you can also get a picture inside of a new Ferrari 2022. Of course, the pictures are for sale, but if you want a memorable experience, it’s well worth it. They are about 15 euros for the small size and 20 euros for the larger size.

But what is the real Pinnacle point of the entire museum? It is being able to race a semi-pro simulation car driving machine you get 10 minutes of driving 3 of those minutes are instructions from the simulation instructor, and the other seven are you driving on a simulated racetrack you can pick a few local Italian Formula One race tracks, so it really enhances the experience even more. But be careful the cars are like you’re driving real Formula 1 cars, and be prepared to crash.

As beautiful as this museum is, it will only take you about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half the best thing to do is visit the museum early and then go and visit the sister Museum in Maranello. The museum in Maranello is a totally different experience and one that you will enjoy you can either drive there or take some of the bus accommodations that they have as well either way, enjoy the museums enjoy the Ferraris and enjoy the dream car of your life.

Modena racetrack

We put the Modena racetrack immediately after the Enzo Ferrario museum precisely because the Enzo Ferrari museum ticket allows you to have a unique experience at the Modena racetrack at an affordable price.

It allows you to enter the circuit with your car and try to drive it for 15 minutes at 35 euros. You can find updated prices and more details on the Modena Autodrome website: http://www.autodromodimodena.it/inside.php?page=9&element=105

Clearly, at the racetrack, you will find a professional driver who will show you the characteristics of the track and the necessary safety measures to adopt.

You must also know that the track is not always available for this type of experience; therefore, you must always check availability on the web page above.

Torre Ghirlandina (Bell Tower)

Alongside the Cathedral’s apse, with its 89.32 meters, the Ghirlandina tower, the symbol of the city of Modena, projects upwards.

Best Things to do in Modena Italy 2
Best Things to do in Modena Italy 2

This Tower was built as the bell tower for the cathedral. This tower has also played an important civic function since its origins: the ringing of its bells marked the time for life in the city.

It announced the opening of the gates in the city walls and acted as a warning for the people in situations of alarm and danger. 

https://www.visitmodena.it/en/discover-modena/art-and-culture/modena-unesco-site/ghirlandina-belltower

Top 10 Best Things to do in Modena Italy 2
Things to do in Modena Italy

Municipal vinegar cellar

Guided tours (booking required) illustrate the history of vinegar, this product of excellence famous worldwide, and tastings are offered.

Palazzo Ducale di Modena

The current Ducal Palace of Modena stands on the site once occupied by the castle built in 1291.

Modena became the capital of the Este duchy in 1598 and needed a suitable residence. Therefore in 1634, the works to build a new masterpiece palace of baroque architecture began.

Pavarotti Municipal Theatre

The Municipal Theater was inaugurated in 1841 with the name Teatro dell’Illustrissima Comunità. It has kept its beauty intact throughout its history and has undergone no significant structural transformation.

The theater was renamed and dedicated to Pavarotti, the great Modenese tenor, in October 2007, one month after his death. Under the portico of the Teatro Comunale, you can also see the statue of Luciano Pavarotti himself.

The work depicts the life-size tenor standing in the typical attitude of greeting the public after his performances: smiling and with open arms with the scarf in his left hand.

To see and savor the beauty of the theater, you can treat yourself to a cultural evening by attending one of the operas on the program. Alternatively, you can also walk past the theater to see its architecture and the statue dedicated to the Modenese tenor.

Pavarotti Municipal Theater website: https://teatrocomunalemodena.it/en/

Estense Gallery

The Estense Gallery exhibits the Dukes of Este art collection inside the eighteenth-century Palazzo Dei Musei in Modena.

Estense Ducal Garden Park

Historic oasis with benches, a playground and a pond.

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TOP 10 Amazing Things to do in Venice Italy

TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy

TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy – Venice is a city unique in the world and there is no doubt that it is worthy of a visit, but what are the best things to do in Venice? Here is our list:

  1. Take a Vaporetto ticket and go around Venice by boat
  2. Grand Canal Venice Italy
  3. Visit San Marco Square (Piazza San Marco)
  4. Visit the Rialto bridge (Ponte di Rialto)
  5. Visit Palazzo Ducale the palace in San Marco Square (Piazza San Marco)
  6. Museo di San Marco
  7. Burano
  8. Murano
  9. Torre dell’Orologio or Clock tower
  10. San Barnaba Church

TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy

Let’s see better together some of the TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy

The palaces of Venice from its canals with the Vaporetto

The first thing to do in Venice is to admire the beauty of this city and the buildings that overlook and that are located along its canals. How can you see them at their best but with minimal effort?

First of all, I recommend that you tour Venice by Vaporetto. The Vaporetto is a small boat that allows you to move comfortably around the city. Various Vaporetto lines allow you to reach different points of the city. You may have to get off at a stop and take another Vaporetto to your destination to reach a specific destination. It is a bit like the buses or subways of other cities but on the water.

Using the Vaporetto, you can admire the beauty of Venice, its palaces, and buildings that directly overlook the canals without walking too long. And then certain views or corners of Venice can only be seen by navigating on its canals.

So first buy the ticket for the boat called “Vaporetto”. Since the best way to get to Venice is by train, as the Venezia Santa Lucia train station is located right inside the city, the Venezia Santa Lucia train station is probably your starting point for the visit.

Venezia Santa Lucia train station is a perfect starting point because the Vaporetto ticket office is located right in front of the station. The following image was taken right at the exit of the Venice Santa Lucia train station: in the image behind us, we have the train station and in front of us, we have what we see in the photo. As you can see, the Vaporetto stop and the ticket office are right in front of you, a few steps from the station.

One day in Venice. What should I do on my first day in Venice? Venice vaporetto ticket office train station

Using the Vaporetto is ideal for starting your visit to Venice because it gives you three advantages:

  1. a better view of the City
  2. you move faster
  3. you don’t get too tired and you can visit more.

Grand Canal Venice Italy

One of the best things to see in Venice is the Grand Canal o Canal Grande.

TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Grand Canal

Piazza San Marco Venice

Piazza San Marco is the main square of Venice as well as the most famous. There are several things to see and visit here in San Marco square. But what is better not to do here in Piazza San Marco? If you are careful with your budget, it is much better not to have a coffee in one of the bars in Piazza San Marco: they have excessive prices.

One day in Venice. What should I do on my first day in Venice?
TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Basilica San Marco Venice

Which marble was used to construct the Church of San Marco? Read the following post: Lake Iseo things to do in Riva di Solto Italy.

Ponte di Rialto

The Rialto bridge is one of the four bridges cross the Grand Canal and is the oldest and most characteristic. When was it built? This stone bridge was completed in 1591. It must be said, however, that the Rialto Bridge as we see it today was not the first bridge built at this point. In fact, over the centuries, several bridges were built and then replaced or rebuilt due to damage or change in needs.

What to do in the Rialto Bridge area:

  • Take pictures: you can’t go back home without a Rialto Bridge picture.
  • Buy what you need: a supermarket is on one side of the Rialto Bridge. It’s a good shop to buy water or what you need.
  • Have your dinner. In this area, you can find good restaurants at a good price.
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TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Ponte di Rialto

Burano

If you have already had the opportunity to visit the main points of Venice, such as Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge, you can now dedicate yourself to visiting one of the islands of Venice: Burano and Murano. To do this, you need to take the Vaporetto once again, but this time the one that takes you to Burano or Murano.

If you are staying for several days in Venice, I recommend that you buy the “Vaporetto” ticket on the first day for the number of days you stay in Venice. You will surely make good use of it.

Which is the Vaporetto stop that goes to Burano? To go to Burano, you can take the Vaporetto at the “F.te Nove” stop.

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TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Boat for Murano

If you are not already near the “F.te Nove” Vaporetto stop, but you are not too far away, you can walk through the streets of Venice to reach it. This is a great way to discover corners of the city that are little known to tourists.

For example, we passed in front of the ambulance boats. Of course, we always hope never to need them but in any case, they are a characteristic of Venice that we certainly do not find in Milan or other cities!

2 Days in Venice

If we are rightly not big fans of ambulance boats, we can also appreciate the beautiful squares.

2 days in venice square in Venice
TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: walk into the Venice Streets

What to see in Burano?

Burano is famous for lace, and on this island, you can find many shops selling handmade lace.

Burano is beautiful as all the houses have different colors: why? The reason why the houses are so colorful is to be found in the origins and history of this island. Burano is, in fact, an island of fishermen, who, navigating along the canals, could and can easily find their home in the fog thanks to these colors.

2 days in venice Houses colorful Burano
TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Burano Island

When you are in Burano, see the bell tower too: it is leaning! Another Tower of Pisa?

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TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Burano

Murano

Murano is very famous for its glass art. The best thing to do in Murano is therefore to go around the shops and see the beautiful creations and, why not, even buy them.

In periods when the island is not too crowded with tourists, the artisans who sell their creations directly in the shops may be willing to show you how glass is made: seeing how they shape glass is always fascinating!

TOP 10 Things to do in Venice Italy: Murano is very famous for its glass-making art.

San Barnaba church

The church of San Barnaba is where Indiana Jones was filmed in Venice.

Best way to arrive in Venice

The best way to reach the center of Venice is by train. The train station where you can get off in Venice is “Venezia Santa Lucia”. To arrive by train at Venezia Santa Lucia station you can make the whole journey by train, for example starting from Brescia or Milan, or use the car and then the train.

If you use the car you can get to Mestre station, park your car in one of the parking lots near the station and then take the train that goes from Venice-Mestre to Venice Santa Lucia.

There is more than one car park near the Venice-Mestre station as you can see in the following image.

Mestre car parking Venice
Mestre car parking map

As you can see better in the following image near the Venice-Mestre station there is also a Hertz car rental agency in case you need to return your car. In fact you cannot use your car in Venice!

Hertz rental car agency Mestre Venice
Hertz rental car agency – Mestre Venice

After parking or returning the car, you can walk to the Venice-Mestre train station. When you enter, you see the automatic ticket machines. Choose your train time and then take your ticket.

To go from Venice-Mestre to Venice Santa Lucia by train it takes only about 13 minutes.

Mestre Venice by train
Mestre Venice by train

Venice: it’s incredible! As soon as you leave the Venezia Stanta Lucia station you realize that you are truly in this magical city.

Venice train station2

Things to do in Venice Italy at night

Things to do in Venice at night? One simple thing you can do in Venice at night is to do a night tour on your boat “Vaporetto”. If you got a Vaporetto Daily ticket, this tour is also free.

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Things to do in Venice Italy at night

You can also have dinner in one of the restaurants at the Ponte di Rialto. The atmosphere is magic.

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Things to do in Venice Italy at night

What is the best time to visit Venice Italy?

What is the best time to visit in Venice? Venice is crowded at any time of the year, but in some periods the amount of tourists is more bearable.

For this reason we can say that the best time of the year to visit Venice is between December and January. It is true that in Venice between December and January it is colder than in other periods but it is also true that in this period it is less crowded and is more enjoyable for both residents and tourists.

If you go to Murano, for example, the glassmakers will be more happy to show you how glass is made in periods of lesser influx of tourists. When the shops are too crowded, they can’t take care of all the customers.

What type of climate does Venice Italy have?

Venice is cold in winter and very hot in summer. In fact, in summer, the temperature is about 80,6 °F but the heat you feel is much more because of the humidity.

What is the worst period to visit Venice Italy?

Venice is very busy all year; the busiest period is between March and June and then September and October. Summer is probably the worst time to visit Venice because of the very hot weather.

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Lake Maggiore Italy

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Top Lake Maggiore best restaurants

Lake Maggiore best restaurants stresa italy Agriturismo LOrdin Campino just above Stresa 1

Lake Maggiore best restaurants –  Lake Maggiore is a unique place, and surely your trip or holiday on Lake Maggiore will be something not to forget, especially if you visit one of the places in our Top 10 Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns.

Moreover, if you also combine good food with the beautiful view, you and your friends or family will be even happier: what are some restaurants with a view of Lake Maggiore? Here are some of our favorite restaurants.

  • Funiva Restaurant: on the Sasso del Ferro in Laveno Mombello
  • La Pescheria restaurant: on Isola Pescatori (Stresa)
  • Agriturismo L’Ordin: Campino just above Stresa

Video 3 Restaurants overlooking Lake Maggiore

Watch the following video that shows you the view of the restaurants and examples of some dishes in a few seconds.

Lake Maggiore best restaurants

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Top 10 Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns

Stresa Italy Lake Maggiore isola pescatori fisherman island lago maggiore 4 scaled

Top 10 Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns – Lake Maggiore what to do and see? This is certainly an interesting question. If you know how to organize your day well, the time spent on Lake Maggiore will not be a simple walk on the lakefront but an unforgettable vacation or trip.

There are many beautiful places that you can visit on Lake Maggiore. Here you can find the list of the best places on Lake Maggiore Italy.

The 10 Lake Maggiore Italy things to do

Lake Maggiore things to do. Here are the ten best places on Lake Maggiore, those places that you just can’t miss:

  1. Borromean Islands
  2. Stresa
  3. Mottarone Stresa
  4. Sasso del Ferro Laveno
  5. Verbania and Villa Taranto
  6. Hermitage of Santa Caterina
  7. Cannero Riviera + Castles of Cannero + Cannobbio
  8. Locarno + Funicular + Orselina (Switzerland)
  9. Ascona (Switzerland)
  10. Brissago + Islans (Switzerland)

Borromean Islands and Fisherman Island

What is the first place where I bring my friends who have never been to Lake Maggiore? Definitely to the Borromean Islands! The 3 islands of the Borromean Gulf are a real jewel of Lake Maggiore. They are easily reachable by boat from Verbania, Stresa and Baveno, thanks to the Navigazione del Lago Maggiore service. There are also private transport services by motorboat.

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  • Borromean Islands Lake Maggiore view of the mother island from the beautiful island scaled
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  • borromean islands lake maggiore stresa italy

Lake Maggiore, what to see? Borromean Islands

The Borromean Islands are an excellent choice for those who want to do a complete visit because they have all day free, but also for those who want to do only a half-day visit because they want to spend a more relaxing day or they simply have less time. In fact, it is not necessary to visit all three islands in one day to have a great day.

If you want more details about the Borromean Islands, go to the dedicated page: Lake Maggiore Borromean Islands Italy

Stresa Lake Maggiore

Stresa is one of the most famous towns on Lake Maggiore and it shows all its magnificence thanks to its luxurious hotels, amazing gardens and unique view of Isola Bella. To understand better, watch the following video. You can activate the subtitles in English.

Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns: Stresa Lago Maggiore

If you want to learn more about the things to do in Stresa, read the following article: Top 10 Stresa Italy things to do Lake Maggiore.

Mottarone Stresa

Mottarone is the mountain that lies behind Stresa and is easily accessible by car. There are 2 roads: one a little longer and more winding which is free, and another is more convenient but requires the payment of a toll.

In any case, it is really worth going up the Mottarone as the real peculiarity of this place is that it offers a magnificent view of 7 lakes! On days when the sky is particularly clear, the spectacle is unforgettable.

Lake Maggiore Italy things to do: Mottarone Stresa.

As for nature on Mottarone, there is not only a beautiful view but you can also find some nice animals such as donkeys and cows.

For fun lovers on the Mottarone, there is Alpyland: a rail bob with which you can descend along a part of the mountain in a very fun way. The adjustable speed makes it suitable for everyone … even the less intrepid.

After all these activities, if you may be hungry: no problem because you can enjoy excellent food in one of the restaurants that we find right here. Surely a good lunch is never refused!

If you want to know more, go to the following post: Mottarone Stresa Lake Maggiore. On this page, you also find the name of the seven lakes you can see from the Mottarone.

3. Sasso del Ferro Laveno

The Sasso del Ferro is located just above Laveno. It can be reached by cable car or by following a path but the most convenient option is certainly the cable car you find in Laveno. 

We do not have a view of the 7 lakes from here, but the view is beautiful: you can see the entire Borromean Gulf.

A dinner here is always a special event. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more low-budget or simpler trip, you can also opt for a picnic or you can have something at the bar. In fact, here at the top of the Sasso del Ferro, there is not only a restaurant but also a bar.

Watch the following video where you can see the Sasso del Ferro and what you can visit in Laveno.

Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns – Lake Maggiore Italy Laveno: things to do?

Verbania and Villa Taranto

Verbania is a magnificent location and an excellent place to visit in any season. Verbania is made up of 3 smaller towns: Pallanza, Intra and Suna. Verbania never tires you up.

In Verbania, you can take long walks along the lakefront, visit the magnificent botanical gardens of Villa Taranto, take the boat to the Borromean Islands, the ferry to Laveno and much more.

If you love long walks and relaxation, Verbania is definitely the place for you. In Verbania, there is a magnificent lakeside promenade of several kilometers.

Verbania also has two main beaches: Suna beach and Arena beach.

Verbania also boasts one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world: I Giardini di Villa Taranto.

If you want to know more, go to the following post: Top 10 Lake Maggiore Verbania what to do?

Hermitage of Santa Caterina

The hermitage of Santa Caterina is very characteristic because is built on rock and not much above the lake’s level. It is very suggestive seen from the lake and it is nice to observe the lake from the hermitage itself.

Watch the following video, where you can find out some helpful information on how to get to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso and where you can also discover the history of this place.

Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns: Hermitage of Santa Caterina

Text of the video:

Hi Everybody, our next stop? The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso Lake Maggiore Italy.

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is in my Top 10 things to see on Lake Maggiore.

It is an extraordinary place as it is set in the rock directly overlooking the waters of Lake Maggiore.

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina is a few kilometers from Laveno.

How to get to the Hermitage?

You have 2 options: by car or by boat.

If you choose the car option, you have to know that once you have parked the car, you have to go down a long staircase of 268 steps, which you then have to go up on the way back.

However, there is the possibility of taking the lift for a fee.

However, the best option to get to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina is by boat.

Much of the beauty, charm, and uniqueness of the hermitage can be appreciated when you observe it from the lake.

You can take the boat to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina from different locations: from Laveno, Stresa, and Verbania Pallanza for example.

Once you arrive at the Hermitage, you don’t need a lot of time to visit it: its main elements are a portico, a courtyard, and a small church.

What is the history of the Hermitage of Santa Caterina?

You can read some historical notes and other information in the subtitles while we still enjoy some scenes of the Hermitage.

According to tradition, the Hermitage was founded in 1170 by Alberto Besozzi, a wealthy local merchant.

This merchant escaped a shipwreck during a lake crossing.

So he made a vow to Saint Catherine to retire for the rest of his life in prayer and solitude in a cave on that stretch of coast and lead a hermit’s life there.

He then had a chapel dedicated to Santa Caterina built, currently visible at the bottom of the church. The chapel dates back to the 12th century.

The chapel was flanked by two other churches built by some Ispra nobles: San Nicola and Santa Maria Nova.

The existence of the two churches is certain, starting from the fourteenth century.

As you can see, our visit is over. At this point, I greet you. Bye, and see you on the next adventure!

Cannero Riviera + Castles of Cannero + Cannobbio

We have decided to include these 3 locations together as they are located in the same area and can be visited on the same day, especially thanks to the boat connections.

Cannero Riviera

Cannero Riviera is a splendid town on Lake Maggiore and is known for its beautiful lakefront and wide beach. To have a better idea about how Cannero is, you can watch the following video. In the video, the town is empty because it is December. In the summertime, Cannero is full of people.

This video starts from the Cannero beach and we go along the entire lakefront.

Then we explore the historic town center with its so characteristic streets. The video ends while we are on the boat for Cannobio. Thanks to this boat tour we enjoy the lake coast view and can see the Castles of Cannero. Watch the video!

Lake Maggiore Italy things to do and amazing towns: Cannero Riviera
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