I'll in Venice for two days, then I'll be traveling with friends to Milan to spend another day or so. It's about a 3+ hour ride whether I bus, train, or drive, so I was wondering if there was any place worth while to stop by in between maybe for a meal. We haven't decided on a mode of transportation yet, but we will once we decide if there's anything we'd like to do. We were looking at Padua and Verona.
Any suggestions for things in either place or anywhere else for a few hours? Thanks!
+1 on Verona if you're on the way to Milan from Venice. There's a 14th century castle there that's purported to be the house of the Capulets called Casa di Giulietta (no proof that they ever really existed, but still cool). You can see her balcony and there's a Juliet statue there. You're suppose to rub the right breast of it for luck and you can leave notes behind, too. No matter when you go though, it will be CROWDED.
In Milan, pro-tip: skip seeing da Vinci's The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. So ridiculous because it costs $45 to get in, I had to wait in a long line for it and when I got in to see it, we weren't allowed to take photographs and were only given like 10 minutes to see it. It was a huge painting and amazing that it survived so long, but really a really underwhelming experience to actually see it in person.
Of course, there's plenty else worth seeing, like the Piazza del Duomo. Apparently it's so huge it can fit 40k people inside. Pretty amazing. You should also go to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It's a shopping mall and even if you're not shopping, you just have to go and see it. Really nice shops and the architecture is breathtaking. This is next to Teatro alla Scala, where many opera greats have sang. Maybe if you stay the night, you can catch an opera. Another amazing shopping centure is the Via Monte Napoleone. Another place where even if you don't plan on shopping, you should at least window shop at. While there, you should get a cappucino at Cova, which has been there since the early 1800s. For real food, Trattoria Milanese is delizioso!
Mentioned in this answer:
I've actually never been to Milan, but I've been the a couple cities in between Venice and there. Since you're taking road transportation between the cities, you can definitely stop off somewhere in the middle. Padua is really lush and beautiful. Much closer to the Venice side of things. Verona is more at a midway point. Very culturally significant city. Romeo and Juliet actually took place there. Of course, there's plenty to keep you occupied in either city with tons to see and eat. If you decide to stop off at either of those, let me know and I'd be happy to share more suggestions there.
Have fun in Italy!
I was born in Milan, the things that I am proud of my city are two: one is the stunning Piazza del Duomo, you should definitely find the time to go on the top of it. The second is the Aperitivo (our happy hour), where you can enjoy good drinks and eat a lot at the buffet just paying for your drink, the best places are at the Navigli (walking distance from the Duomo) or at Arco della Pace.
Let me add a couple of names where you can have a good Aperitivo:
La Ringhiera - Ripa di Porta Ticinese 5, this one is at the Navigli (this is the name of these two little streams of water close to Duomo)
Deseo - Corso Sempione 8, this one is not walking distance, but if you feel like walking you can walk from the Duomo, you can make your way towards the Castle ( Castello Sforzesco), enter the Park ( Parco Sempione) follow the direction towards the Arch ( Arco della Pace) and there you will find the Deseo (it should take you around 30min but I think it can be a nice walk). The price of an Aperitivo is generally around 8 € and you can have all you want at the buffet.
Visit my Travel Blog for more travel tips!
Mentioned in this answer:
You should also visit Bergamo. It is an old city with the unique infrastructure. The town is divided into two parts that are connected by funicular (which worth trying), roads, and paths. The old part of the city is the historic center of the town and it is surrounded by defensive walls constructed in the 16th century. It looks very powerful.
Milan is full of interesting places and there are many exciting activities to try including shopping, sightseeing, and tasting delicious food. When I was preparing for my trip to Milan, I found a very useful infographic about the best things to do in Milan. You can find a lot that will help you to plan your time in Milan.
Bergamo is a hilltop town served by the likes of Ryanair. It is a very pleasant place to take a stroll in.
Mentioned in this answer:
I live in Pavia that is an old roman city (you can still see the "Cardo and Decumano" streets that came from the Roman castrum - military camp). Near Pavia, there is the astonishing Certosa di Pavia that deserves a visit since it's one of the largest monasteries in Italy from 1300.
I suggest you not to go "Romeo and Juliet's house" (or at least keep your expectations low) since there is quite nothing to see a part from a decorated balcony and a lot of young turists that ruined the walls just outside the yard.
In Verona you'll find a lot of great restaurants (you have to try local black wines) and the Arena where I suggest you to attend a concert or a ballet, since it's a very suggestive place during the night.
Hi, I live close to Verona and I could advise you many many places to visit. But I feel to advise you to go to Sirmione,on the Garda Lake, it's on the way to Milan. It's a great and typical medieval village. Be careful if you visit it on public holiday: there's just one street to enter the village and the traffic could be annoying. If this is the case, reroute to Bardolino. It's another wonderful village quite close to Sirmione.
If you need more informations, don't hesitate to contact me.