5 Fun Day Trips from Milan

Milan is a beautiful city worth a visit in its own right, but its strategic location also makes it a great home base for exploring the surrounding area. That’s why today we’re going to be highlighting five destinations that are perfect for a day trip from Milan that you can do by car.

Sure, a bus or a train could get you there, but the journey itself is half the adventure, plus going by car gives you the flexibility to see things at your own pace without worrying about departure schedules. You can compare car rentals in Milan for an idea at prices, but now let us share some day trip ideas:

Milan cathedral in Italy
Image by 昕 沈 from Pixabay


Driving time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This medieval town is an hour’s drive from Milan. It is divided into the Città Alta (Upper Town) and the Città Bassa (Lower Town), but it is the historic Città Alta that demands a visit. The town is wrapped in 17th-century walls that would have once protected the city, and at its centre is the beautiful Piazza Vecchia. The Città Alta is filled with architecture with Venetian influence, an effect of several centuries of Venetian rule. The narrow, winding streets and views of the surrounding countryside make Bergamo a perfect place for a day of leisurely wandering.


Driving time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Visitors tend to overlook Turin, blinded by big names like Venice, Florence, and Rome. But since it isn’t buzzing with tourists, Turin is actually one of the most authentically Italian cities. Italians take food and coffee very seriously, and accordingly, Turin boasts the highest density of cafés in the nation. Turin was also the birthplace of Italian cinema and is now the home of the National Cinema Museum. The Museo Egizio di Torino is the largest Egyptian museum in the world aside from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The drive from Milan takes about two hours, but a day trip to Turin is well worth the time.


Driving time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a quietly enchanting, romantic place. In the summer it transforms into a bustling destination for the Opera Festival, which is housed in the 2000-year-old Verona Arena. This ancient Roman arena was built several decades before the Roman Colosseum, and it is a sight in itself. Verona is also the home of the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, a church originally built in the 4th century but heavily modified during the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries.


Driving time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Originally a Roman military site, Pavia is now home to one of Italy’s top universities, with alumni including the explorer Christopher Columbus. Pavia was once known as the “city of a hundred towers”, and although few are still standing today, the city is still a fantastic destination for architecture enthusiasts. The Certosa di Pavia, a Carthusian Monastery just outside the city, is one of the most dazzling architectural achievements of the Renaissance. The Castello Visconti, a castle built during the 13th century, holds an art gallery and the Museo del Risorgimento.

Lake Como

Driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Lake Como is one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world with its charming, colourful lakeside towns and the Alps rising high above them. There are several towns within driving distance of Milan, but the closest is Como. Visitors can take a boat trip and visit some of the quieter villages or they can take the funicular into the hills for a panoramic view. Como has a lovely lakeside walkway that’s perfect for a sunset stroll, and the restaurants offer top-notch seafood.

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