Have you just arrived in Italy wondering what to do until the academic year starts? Or are you coming very soon to spend the rest of the summer in Milan? After looking for accommodation and settling in, you cannot miss the chance to discover the city, of course, but mostly the nearby natural and cultural attractions.
For example, you can go and rest, surrounded by the natural environment of the many Alpine lakes spread over Northern Italy, either taking a trip to the mountains, or just sunbathing at the seaside in Liguria Region. Anywhere you go, you’ll also start to get to know the worldwide famous Italian culture, history and arts. There are a lot of destinations and suggestions that you can compare, according to your tastes, time and budget.
First of all, if you’re longing to experience the fresh air of the sea, while sunbathing close to the mountains, then the right place to go are the lakes, such as Lago di Como, Lago di Garda, Lago Maggiore.
The first of these destinations is often mentioned in tabloids for being the holiday residence of very popular people from the international jet-set from the past, and even today. Lago di Garda is the biggest lake in Italy and resembles a sea, with its nice beaches and clear water.
Lago Maggiore is about an hour’s drive from Milan, and I really recommend its attractive islands: Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isole di Brissago. Since all these are touristic destinations there may be some really crowded spots, but there’s always the opportunity to find a quiet place. In the evening and night, if you are interested in classical music, you can’t miss the opportunity to go to the Stresa Festival, which gathers musicians and artists from all over the world in the charming setting of Lago Maggiore, since 1961.
Moreover, as you may already know, Italy boasts the beautiful embrace of the Alps Mountains. So why not having a week-end trip to Aprica, or Bormio, in Valtellina? Or go to Valle d’Aosta, with its many beauties, either to Alagna Valsesia, the so called “Free ride paradise” or Macugnaga, in Northern Piedmont.
The Dolomites Mountains are also a very popular destination among Italians and foreigners. Since the journey from Milan lasts about 3 or 4 hours, depending on the places, it would be better to dedicate them a longer trip than a couple of days. The national railway system and the rest of the transport network link Milan to all these destinations, you only need to check the timetables, on the national railway website, or on the above-linked local official websites.
As an alternative to any of these options, if you are addicted to the beach, Liguria is the fastest solution: there are trains taking you straight from Milan to Genoa or to the renowned Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.
And, finally, if you like the idea of sunbathing but are too lazy to travel, or for the many cultural and musical events taking place in the city, then the best option is to go to Idroscalo, an artificial lake which was originally built as a seaplane airport, in the eastern neighborhood of Milan.
Just one further suggestion, let good music inspire your soul. At the beginning of September there are going to be excellent music concerts for the MiTo festival, a festival linking Milan and Turin in the promotion and organization of important concerts and shows. This year MiTo takes place from the 5th until 23rd September… What a perfect conclusion for your Italian Summer!