Milan short breaks
Milan is Italy's industrial hub, but its inescapable connection to the fashion world - the likes of Versace, Gucci, Armani and Prada launched their careers on Milan's runways - means that this historic city simply oozes style and elegance.
Experience both high art and high-end boutiques as well as lavish hotels in Milan's manicured centre.
See the famous La Scala Opera House and Milan's elaborate marble cathedral - the third largest in the world - which contains one of the most famous pieces of art ever created: Leonardo da Vinci's painting ‘The Last Supper'.
The ornate Piazza Duomo houses the Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) and Sforza Castle, which once housed the Duchy of Milan, now holds a collection of art galleries and museums, including Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà.
Take a break from Milan's cultural treasures and indulge in some shopping at one of the flagship designer stores found along the Quadrilatero d'Oro (Golden Quad).
If the pace of Italy's fashion capital gets too much, you can head out of the city and into the hills on a number of day trips to Milan's surrounding towns. Bergamo is a medieval hilltop town just outside of Milan, while the home of the Duomo di Monza cathedral and host to the Italian Grand Prix, Monza, is just half an hour's drive from the city centre.
Lake Maggiore is famed for its picturesque towns, including Stresa, and the beautiful, flower-filled Borromean Islands, which are scattered throughout the lake. Take a boat to Isola Bella, a paradise of peacocks and ornamental gardens.
Due north of Milan is the dazzling Lake Como. Lombard Kings once retreated to its only island, Isola Comacina, after an invasion. Visitors today are more likely to seek sanctuary from the bustle of Milan's busy streets and explore Como's rugged mountains, luxury villas and hill towns of Bellagio and Menaggio.
Top itineraries in Milan
Calm blue lakes, snow-crested mountains, grandiose villas and some of Italy's finest Belle Époque hotels provide the backdrop to this tailor-made driving holiday through beautiful northern Italy. Its bookended by stays among Milan's ultra-fashionable repose and Verona's fabled past.
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