Three destinations to enjoy a day of fun and relaxation
Three destinations to enjoy a day of fun and relaxation with the whole family! From Monza with its magnificent treasures and shopping streets to the lakes of Lombardy and Venice, one of the world’s most romantic cities. By Stefania Vida
MONZA The beauty of its 14th century Torre dell'Arengario, its glam shopping streets and its Gothic-style Duomo, featuring marvellous frescoes depicting the life of Queen Theodelinda, make the centre of Monza (20 km from Milan) well worth a visit. However, Monza's real jewel in the crown is its famous Villa Reale, a magnificent 18th century dwelling designed by Francesco Piermarini, the architect who also designed the La Scala Opera House in Milan. Don't miss Italy's annual Formula 1 Grand Prix held in September at the racetrack lying behind its park. www.villarealedimonza.it
LAKES OF LOMBARDY Each year the lakes of Lombardy attract millions of visitors thanks to their mild climate, breathtaking scenery, natural beauties and historic and artistic treasures. The shores of Lake Maggiore (90 km from Milan) wash up on the banks of Piedmont and Lombardy, while its northern basin lies in the mountainous region of Switzerland. The most famous island is Isola Bella, anchored like a fantastic ship-garden and dominated by the majestic Palazzo Borromeo (www.isoleborromee.it). Lake Como must-visits include the Gothic Duomo, the Romanesque basilicas of San Fedele and Sant'Abbondio, the neoclassical Villa Olmo and, in Cernobbio, the deluxe Villa d'Este and Villa Erba (75 km from Milan). Other fabulous lake destinations near Milaninclude Lake Orta, Lake Varese and Lake Lugano.
VENICE The major attractions of Venice (275 km from Milan), such as the awe-inspiring Basilica of St. Mark, the Bell Tower and Palazzo Ducale, are all situated just nearby St. Mark’s Square. Just a few steps from the square, well worth a visit are the historic Teatro della Fenice and, burdened with legend, the Bridge of Sighs, one of Venice's most characteristic bridges together with the Ponte Rialto. In terms of uniqueness, Venice tops all other cities with its canals – which can be navigated aboard one of the city's famous gondolas – and Murano, Torcello and Burano, three charming, small islands rich in history and tradition.
Canal Grande, Venice