I had the luck of visiting Milan and some picturesque nearby towns one particular year during Easter time. I daresay it makes an ideal period if only for the wondrous sight of seeing the snow-tipped mountains and the lush vegetation after the winter. Apart from wandering around Milan for its famous gallerias and streets replete with designer ware, the trip would not have been complete were it not for the driving tour of picture-perfect locations such as Bellagio and Lugano (the latter requires the ferry trip by car and then drive into Switzerland – carry your passport and Swiss francs just in case). There were a number of other highlights but I am reserving these to another throwback post.
So what can one do when in Milan? Watch an opera at La Scala or visit the theatre museum for its historical value. Alternatively try to find a concert held in one of the main squares. Do not miss out on the ubiquitous happy hour and some places even offer a mini-buffet or finger food for the price of the drink. Now that is what I call a true happy hour! Shop at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (obviously!) or alight for lunch under its magnificent structure; also worth walking up and down Via Montenapoleone. Revisit history by means of Castello Sforzesco and do not forget to pay a visit to the sumptuous Duomo. Then, in case you want to get away from it all, do not forget the parks for some R&R after sightseeing and shopping. If you want to get away further, hire a car and drive around to neighbouring towns as I did, such as the above. They will be worth your while, and the drive is not too bad either as you get to see the real Italy, nature at its best!
Bellagio and Lugano (the last two photos)