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).
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.
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.
for half day
Carthusian Monastery of Pavia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
) 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.
a Whole Day
Only 43km (27 miles) from Milan, the walled hilltop town of Bergamo
is an wonderful place with a wealth of medieval, Renaissance and
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
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
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).
Bergamo, Viale Vittorio Emanuele 20, Bergamo (telephone number(035)
210 204; fax number(035) 230 184; e-mail: email@example.com;)
provides further information.
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).