Things to Do in Milan
The lakes of northern Italy are popular tourist destinations, but some are more well-known than others. Lake Orta, for instance, is much less visited than its famous neighbor, Lake Maggiore. Orta is significantly smaller than Lake Maggiore and slightly further from Milan, so it's not surprising that most tourists head for others in the area. Many Milanese, however, spend their lakeside vacations at Lake Orta specifically because it's less crowded.
One of the picturesque charms of Lake Orta is the sweet little island at its center. Isola San Giulio is home to a basilica, a monastery, and not much else. Around Lake Orta there are towns with smaller hotels, but this isn't the tourist-centered experience of Lake Maggiore or Lake Como. Come to Lake Orta to really get away.
Italians love to shop and they love high fashion, but that doesn't mean they always love paying top prices. Shop like they do at the Fidenza Village outlet shopping center near Parma.
Fidenza Village opened in 2003 and has more than 100 boutique shops. You'll be able to browse the selections for brands such as Versace, Missoni, Armani, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, and Furla. It's located in the Emilia-Romagna region not far from the city of Parma, and the design of the outdoor shopping center is reportedly meant to evoke some of Giuseppe Verdi's opera sets.
The town of Vicolungo is in the Piedmont region near Novara, not far from the border with Lombardy. It's home to one of the many outlet shopping centers near Milan – Vicolungo The Style Outlets.
The Style Outlets is a chain of outlet shopping centers in Europe (there are two in Italy). The Vicolungo location has 150 boutique stores, each offering discounts of 30-70% off regular retail prices. Some of the brands represented in the shopping center are Armani, Missoni, Trussardi, Swarovski, Sisley, and Kappa.In addition to the shopping, The Style Outlets at Vicolungo also have an exhibition space that regularly features art shows and events.
Monza is a wealthy suburb of Milan, principally known as the location of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, a world-famous car racing track. The Autodromo Nazionale Monza was built in 1922 and actually has three tracks on the grounds. The main one is the Grand Prix track, a 3.6-mile track that has hosted every Formula One Italian Grand Prix since the series began in 1922, except for the 1980 race. The Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix is also held at Monza.
The race tracks are contained within a park that once surrounded a royal palace (the palace still exists). You can attend races at Monza, held regularly, and even sign up for driving courses.
Leonardo da Vinci was famous for keeping extensive notes, sketching designs for things that were way beyond his time and writing in code so his discoveries wouldn't be stolen. Some of those writings are cataloged in what's known as the “Codex Atlanticus,” a 12-volume set spanning more than 40 years, and part of this astounding collection is housed in Milan's Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
Da Vinci spent much of his lifetime simply jotting down notes. In the 16th century, those notes were collected by a sculptor into what we now call the Codex Atlanticus. It was acquired by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in the 1630s, then stolen by Napoleon's army in the early 1800s. After the Napoleonic occupation, the Codex was returned to Milan, and restoration work has been done on the volumes throughout different points in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Things to do near Milan
- Things to do in Lombardy
- Things to do in Ferno
- Things to do in Castelletto di Branduzzo
- Things to do in Bergamo
- Things to do in Lake Como
- Things to do in Lake Maggiore
- Things to do in Asti
- Things to do in Genoa
- Things to do in Turin
- Things to do in Interlaken
- Things to do in Lucerne
- Things to do in Bologna
- Things to do in Pisa
- Things to do in Piedmont & Liguria
- Things to do in Swiss Alps