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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Milan Tours - Excursions
Milan Tours Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Walking tours

The APT Information Office, Piazza Marconi 1 (telephone number: 02 7252 4300), runs a walking tour every Monday, which starts at 1000 hrs from the APT office. At the price of €15, the three-hour tour takes in the city centre and includes entrance to the Scala.

Private guided tours also can be booked from the Centro Guide Turistiche di Milano, Via Marconi 1 (telephone number: 02 8645 0433; fax number: 02 863 210).

Bus Tours

The only way visitors can see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper without having advance reservations is to take the three-hour APT bus tour (telephone number: 02 7252 4300). Advance reservations for the bus tour are not possible and visitors should simply turn up at the tourist information office on Via Marconi 1, off Piazza del Duomo, beforehand and buy tickets (€40) prior to departure, which is daily at 0930 hrs. The tour lasts three hours and includes the Cathedral, Sforza Castle and entrances to The Last Supper, the Brera National Gallery and the Scala Museum.

Tram Tours

Reproductions of sepia photographs showing Milan’s trams are common in Milan’s restaurants and bars. One of the more charming ways to get to know the city centre is by taking the restored 1920s no 20 tram (‘Ciao Milano’), managed by the private company STAB (telephone number: 02 3391 0794). The tram departs from Piazza Castello on a circuit that takes just under two hours. It is an ideal form of transport for getting to the Cathedral, The Last Supper, the Piazza della Scala and the Brera. Tickets cost €20 for a two-hour tour including stops but do not include entrance to any attraction. Commentary in English, French, German, Spanish or Japanese is provided via headphones. In summer (and winter weekends), there are three trams on Saurday, Sunday and holidays (at 1100 hrs, 1300 hrs and 1500 hrs), while winter sees only two trips (1100 hrs and 1300 hrs). The tours are not available the second and third weeks of August.

Excursions for half day

Certosa di Pavia

The Carthusian Monastery of Pavia (e-mail: certosapavia@libero.it ) is a living museum, an architectural treasure box containing prized artworks and is run by the monks who produce excellent Chartreuse liqueurs. It is Located 140km (87 miles) south of Milan, 40km (25 miles) from the city of Pavia, in an idyllic setting, the monastery is reachable by bus or train.

Hourly buses leave the Piazza Castello and the monastery is a 15-minute walk from the bus stop. Regular trains (headed for Genoa) depart from Milano Centrale. The Certosa di Pavia is a 15-minute walk (skirting the Certosa walls) from the station. Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti ordered the monastery’s construction in 1396, the same year as Milan’s Cathedral, as a monument to the Visconti dynasty. The Cistercian monks conduct tours, in return for voluntary donations to the order, showing the cloisters, cells and beautiful frescoes by Pietro Perugino and Bergognone. The ornate marble façade by Amadeo is a masterpiece, famous throughout Italy. The monastery is open Tuesday to Sunday 0900 hrs -1130 hrs and 1430 hrs-1800 hrs.

For a Whole Day

Bergamo

Only 43km (27 miles) from Milan, the walled hilltop town of Bergamo is an wonderful place with a wealth of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Visitors should avoid the lower town (Bergamo Bassa) and instead head for the Piazza Vecchia in the heart of the upper town (Bergamo Alta), with the Palazzo della Ragione, restaurants, shops and the Torre della Civica (ascended by lift). In the nearby Piazetta del Duomo, the Cathedral is overshadowed by the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which includes a 19th-century memorial to the native composer, Gaetano Donizetti (whose museum is also worth a visit). The best views are from the Castello on the summit of San Vigilio. The Accademia Carrara, at the bottom of the plateau on the eastern side, is one of Italy’s finest art galleries, beautifully laid out and featuring important art from the middle ages to the 20th century. Open Wednesday to Monday 0930 hrs-1230 hrs and 1430 hrs-1730 hrs, admission to the gallery is €2.58.

Most of the province’s cultural events take place in Bergamo, including the Donizetti Festival in September and the series of Baroque concerts presented in its churches during October.

Other events include the Feast of Sant’Antonio Abate, which includes the blessing of carts and farming tools (17th January), Bergamo’s summer festival, Estate vivi la tua città (June-September), and an antique market on the third Sunday of every month.

The holiday of the city’s patron saint is held on 26th August includes a huge fresh produce and livestock market. Trains run from Milan (Porto Garibaldi or Lambrate), with the last train leaving Bergamo at about 2230 hrs, allowing enough time to enjoy an excellent meal in the upper town. It is best to go straight uptown, either by bus 1 or 3 from outside the station (one can go all the way, or get off at the funicular stop on Via Vittorio Emanuele II, which is free with a bus ticket).

APT Bergamo, Viale Vittorio Emanuele 20, Bergamo (telephone number(035) 210 204; fax number(035) 230 184; e-mail: aptbg@apt.bergamo.it;) provides further information.

Bellagio

The picturesque mountain and lake setting of Bellagio is an great tonic for the city weary. Located 50km (31 miles) north of Milan, visitors must have a car, unless taking a train to Como and then catching one of the boats from Piazza Cavour quay. The town enjoys fantastic views and a temperate microclimate – hence the luxury villas nestling around its narrow streets. The Villa Serbelloni, owned by the Rockefeller Foundation, has wonderful terraced gardens, while the neo-classical Villa Melzi, where Franz Liszt and Stendhal once stayed, has beautiful landscaped gardens. The villas are open March to October and guided tours are available in English daily at 1100 hrs and 1600 hrs. Tourist information is available (telephone number: (031) 950 204; website: www.bellagiolakecomo.com).
 
 
 
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