Starting in May of 2015, Milan will be hosting Expo 2015 – otherwise known as the 2015 World’s Fair – which will last for six months and draw countless visitors to the northern Italian city.
Milan has been gearing up to play host to Expo 2015 for years, and all that hard work is about to pay off. The city has more than 7,000 events planned during the Expo, which runs from May 1 through October 31, both on the Expo grounds and elsewhere in the city. And this is, of course, in addition to the countless things to do and see in Milan that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Expo.
Milan is a big city with enough to keep most visitors entertained for a few days, but if you’re spending more time in the city and you’d like to see another popular northern city on a day trip, then hop on a train and head for Turin.
As if Lake Maggiore in northern Italy wasn’t beautiful and intriguing enough, there is a small archipelago of islands in the western part of the lake that’s especially worth visiting – the Borromean Islands.
Whenever I tell people that I live in Italy, I’m met with oohs and ahhs and, “Italians are so fashionable!” My reality is that I live in a tiny town where I’m often transported back to the ‘80s. Perhaps it is a good thing, because it squashes my urge to shop. Until I hop the train to Milan, that is. Stepping off the metro at Via Montenapoleone is like walking in to runway fashion show. Elegant European women strut down the avenue in couture, Dior handbags dangling off their slender arms. It can be a little daunting, but with the help of an expert local guide on a Milan Fashion Tour, you’ll have the confidence to shop until you drop.
One of the most popular Italian sports is motor racing, thanks in large part to the dominance of home-grown Ferrari over the years. Formula One is one of the best-loved series, and the home of the annual Formula One Italian Grand Prix is in Monza, just outside Milan.
One of the best ways to get your bearings in a place is to get up high – really high. Looking down over a city gives you a chance to see how one monument relates to another in space, not to mention the ability to see what might lie in the distance beyond the city limits. In Milan, you can climb to the top of the Duomo for a look around, but to get an even better view you’ve got to take to the skies – with, for instance, a hot air balloon flight.
Milan may be home to one of the most delicately ornate cathedrals on earth and the exquisite “Last Supper” fresco by Leonardo da Vinci, but on the whole this isn’t a city known for its laid back qualities. This is Italy’s financial and business (not to mention fashion) center, and the pace can be a little fast for those of you who want to spend your vacation in a relaxing way. You don’t have to suffer through it, however, or skip the city entirely – just plan on spending a little time in one of the luxurious spas in Milan after a day or two of sightseeing to get your relaxation back on track.
You could count me in the moment I saw the photo of the bright red train chugging along through Switzerland. On the Swiss Alps Bernina Express Rail Tour from Milan, the train ride is only part of the package – it’s so much more than a rail tour. Before stepping on the train, you first venture up north by bus, through the Lake District to the northern Italian town of Tirano, nestled amongst the Alps. From there, it’s all aboard the Bernina Express, a UNESCO world heritage route that travels through the Alps to the town of St. Moritz. Two countries and a handful of different towns all in one day? Right up my alley!