8 Best day trips from Milan in summer | ELLCI

Summer in Italy: 8 best day trips from Milan

best day trips milan

Summer in Italy: 8 best day trips from Milan


Summer is the ideal time for day trips from Milan. The Milanese city is well connected to numerous tourist attractions with fast roads and a railway line. You will not need to rent a car to explore its surroundings.

From Milan, you can easily reach many centres with different tourist attractions and things to do.

The Alps are so close that it seems to grab them with your hand from the terraces of the Duomo. You can be in the mountains in the Orobic Alps or on the beach in Liguria in two hours by train. In less than an hour by train, you can reach several cities with magnificent churches and cathedrals, such as Pavia and Vigevano, but also the famous Lake Como.


With the fast high-speed train, it is possible to be at Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy in two hours. The speed of transport allows you to take a day trip out of town and reach the coasts washed by the sea. On one side Venice and the Adriatic, on the other Genoa and the Cinque Terre.


You can choose the best places to visit by referring to our handy list of the best day trips from Milan in Italy.


8 best day trips from Milan 


1. Pavia and its Charterhouse (32′)


Pavia is a university city in the south of Milan. In the city centre is the centuries-old University founded in 1361, one of the oldest academic institutions in Italy and Europe. Visiting the university’s botanical garden with roses and medicinal plants is pleasant during the summer.

Among the unmissable, we point out the Civic Museums inside the Visconteo Castle, a walk on the suggestive Covered Bridge over the Ticino river, which connects the historic city centre and the rest of the city, and the majestic Certosa di Pavia, a Renaissance monastic complex, with sculptures and frescoes,


2. Morbegno, at the gates of Valtellina (1h 39)


For those who love green landscapes and trekking, this town at the beginning of the Valtellina is ideal to reach in a short time from Milan. You can eat in the crotti, follow the paths on the Rhaetian Alps or the Orobiche, cycle along the Adda, cool off in the Bitto river. From here you can also get to Aprica, and if you continue to Tirano you can take the suggestive Bernina Express to Switzerland (read also the ultimate train travel to discover Italy on a budget)


3. Vigevano and its square (31′)


Its Piazza Ducale has been defined as the most beautiful in Italy. Framed by arcades, columns and capitals, it is dotted with elegant bars where you can start the day well. Then you can go to visit the Vigevano Castle and its gardens, the ideal place to regenerate while sitting on the lawn.

We also recommend the ascent to the Torre del Bramante, the symbol of the city. The steps are numerous and narrow, but the effort is rewarded by a broad view of the square, the streets of the historic centre and the castle.


4. Venice and its canals (2h 27)


Venice is only two and a half hours from Milan, and it would be a shame to be in northern Italy without visiting this unique city in the world. With a day trip out of town, you can see the main sights of the city – St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, the Bridge of Sighs, the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto Bridge – and stroll through the labyrinth of streets and along the colourful canals.

Leaving the Venice Santa Lucia station, you can visit the whole city on foot, but you can also take advantage of the vaporetto to move from one point to another and reach the islands of Venice. Don’t miss out on a gondola ride, to see Venice from the water and in its natural dimension.


5. Colico, the “sports paradise” (1h 37)


Colico is an oasis for those looking for outdoor experiences of all kinds. The city offers bathing beaches and is close to Monte Legnone, so it is possible to practise both water sports and mountain activities.

It is located on the tip of Lake Como and has undergone many dominations due to its position. Today you can still see the numerous fortifications and visit the most important ones.

The wind blows all year round, but the area is always sunny, making it an ideal area to experience sailing, windsurfing and other sports. From here you can reach the Abbey of Piona by boat, one of the most important in Lombardy.


6. Turin (1h 25)


Turin is also very close to Milan. This elegant city of wide boulevards and squares lined with arcades is a pleasure to stroll around and for the tourist opportunities that offers.

Absolutely to see: the sumptuous Royal Palace, the National Cinema Museum and the Egyptian Museum with one of the most important collections in the world.

Finally, don’t miss the breathtaking climb in a glass elevator to the top of the Mole Antonelliana.

Turin is also known for the ancient nineteenth-century café where you can savour the typical delights of the Piedmontese capital.  Take this opportunity to taste a bicerin, a typical Turin coffee, chocolate and milk cream drink, and some delicious munchies. 


7. Sirmione, the pearl of Garda (1h 25)


Located in a strategic position, Sirmione offers some spectacular gems. Inside the historic village, there is one of the best-preserved Italian castles, equipped with a dock that is a rare example of a fortification intended for port use.

Among the alleys of the village, there are many typical shops and restaurants and in the western part, there are thermal baths from which you can enjoy a suggestive view.

Continuing, we arrive at the complex of Roman remains of the “Grotte di Catullo” (read also 3 best one day trips from Milan) in an exceptional panoramic position. The remains of a sumptuous Roman villa are known as “grotte/caves” because they resemble a site of natural cavities. “Di Catullo” in honour of the Latin poet who celebrated the beauty of Sirmione.


8. The Ligurian Riviera (1h 30 – 2h 29)

Sestri Levante

With an hour and a half by train, you arrive in Genoa, the capital of “pesto” and good food. You can get lost in the streets of its historic centre, amidst mixed architecture and Romanesque churches, visit the Aquarium of Genoa and the Palazzo Ducale.

From here it is possible to reach the nearby and splendid towns of the Riviera di Ponente and the Riviera di Levante, such as Portofino, Sanremo and Camogli and the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

From Milan, you can directly reach the Ligurian beach of Recco with the fast regional train. In two and a half hours you can already be sunbathing with typical focaccia in hand.