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

Where Milan - - CONTENTS -

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.vil­larealed­i­

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.isole­bor­ 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

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