Updated: Mar 11
There is more to Milan than meets the eye, from hidden gems such as a canal lock designed by Leonardo da Vinci also the secrets of his Last Supper. Discover why you should visit one of Italy's cities with the greatest cultural heritage - Milan and how you can travel to see the towering Dolomites.
Duomo, Milan ©MDHarding
Duomo To The Dolomites - Italy
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Getting To Milan
There are multiple airlines that fly into Milan Malpensa Airport. I flew with EasyJet Airlines from Edinburgh arriving late in the evening I opted to pre-book and stay the evening at the airport. Getting the best rate for The Moxy Hotel via TripAdvisor's accommodation comparison page. The rate included taxes and breakfast. Remember to read the small print as some hotel booking sites do not include these and your stay can work out more expensive. Have you ever considered using a cashback site?
For the best airline rates why not sign up for the airlines' newsletter to be notified when both the summer and winter sales take place? The other option is to check on price comparison websites such as Skyscanner. Have you heard about the Skyscanner App?
Did you know you can also book a discounted package with Wowcher?
From the airport, I pre-booked the FlixBus (on my mobile phone) to Milan Central Train Station. Did you know if you have the mobile phone network three, you can pre-board Easyjet departing from the UK for free and have free data in Italy? Get the V.I.P. treatment and get your travel swagger on.
Milan Malpensa Moxy Hotel ©MDHarding
What Not To Miss In Milan
Go off the beaten track with the Secret Milan travel guidebook. Discover the forgotten origin of the Milan serpent, the possible link of panettone with Celtic Worship, and much more!
I found the 48-hour Milan Pass incredibly good value for money, including fast access to the Duomo rooftop by lift, a day trip to Franciacorta Vineyard Tasting and Shopping Tour (including a light lunch) city sightseeing bus tour ticket, a local transportation ticket and entrance to La Scala Museum and Theatre plus lots more! Did you know most of these elements can be booked or used on other days? Going for 4 days? Explore the city on board the tour bus and use your pass to see the many museums included. Pre-book the day trip to Franciacorta Vineyard Tasting and Shopping Tour for your third day (This day trip goes on specific days, please check when booking). Then on your final day use your metro card to explore another area you haven't yet visited or return to a place you really enjoyed.
Franciacorta Light Lunch ©MDHarding
Get Your Guide has lots of inspirational walking tours, day trips to surrounding areas, and Italian Cooking Classes!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day trip from Milan on board the UNESCO Bernina ExpressTrain/Tirano (Italy) to the world-famous St. Moritz (Switzerland). Highly recommend pre-booking.
In The Italian Alps ©MDHarding
The evening home cooking class was also an incredible experience! Learning to cook traditional Italian pizza, pasta and tiramisu at home with an Italian chef. We chatted, drank Italian wine, and ate the mouth watering food. Would do it again in a heart beat. You even get a certificate to take home. Wonderful experience.
Cooking Pizza In Milano ©MDHarding
Traveling on To Verona
I had heard about Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet but Verona is so much more with Italy's oldest Colosseum! Yes, older than the one in Rome. Traveling by train to Verona from Milan is very easy. You can book the ticket via Trainline. The two-hour train journey goes very quickly while enjoying the beautiful landscapes through the window. We departed early to make the most of our full day of exploring. On arrival, we walked excitedly to the bed and breakfast - Daydreaming House. Dropped off the luggage and went speedily into the old town. The easiest way to find your way around any city and to hear its history is onboard the city sightseeing tour bus. It was already very hot, so we clambered on board relieved to be in the shade. The landscape is dotted with graceful liner cypress trees and historical architecture. The old city is magical. Our stay was cut short as we had to arrive in Trento for a conference. Another day or possibly even two would have been perfect.
Verona by Sunset ©MDHarding
Art and History of Trento
Back on board the train to Trento another adventure awaited us. Trento is filled with charming architecture, modern museums such as the MUSE, and a spectacular Gorge.
There is also a bijou cable car taking you to the other side of the river and up, to enjoy incredible views.
It is worth booking accommodation that also includes the Trentino Pass, but this can also be purchased separately.
It includes local transportation including the cable car, bus to Riva Del Garda, the ferry, museums, and much more!
Neptune In Trento ©MDHarding
The Almighty Dolomites
From Trento, I took a day trip to Bolzano, said to be the gateway to the Dolomites. The bus (FlixBus) was a comfortable one-hour journey, upon arriving it was time to experience the highest cable car (Renon) I have witnessed. If you are afraid of heights there is also the option of the local bus (which is also budget-friendly). At the top, a small train (The Ritten Railway, a historic narrow gauge) is waiting to chug you off through the pretty countryside. You have the option to stop at the other stations (one has a bee farm with incredible honey candies). The last stop if you get there in time, you can enjoy some hiking to see the earth's pyramids (considered to be the highest and most beautifully shaped all over Europe). Unfortunately, I run out of time but had some moments to enjoy the village which is full of character. It was an incredible day trip, one I will do again in the near future.
Italy is so easy to travel independently as a solo female. I can't wait to return to do more.
"Travel alone, you will find yourself" - Pranar Jambare
Bolzano Cable Car ©MDHarding
I hope you have enjoyed reading and are inspired to visit Bellissimo (beautiful) Italy. As always, I love hearing from you with your comments/questions. You can reach me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Until next time, Happy Travels:) x