The economy of Italy revolves around the north. The two main cities in the north, Turin and Milan make a prominent contribution to that economy. However the region is known for so much more than its economic contribution. The lakes of northern Italy are stunning and certainly worth a visit. Further afield there is of course Venice and perhaps you want to see Bergamo. If you are staying in Milan, nice as it is, you may want to get out and see more of the north and its attractions.
The most scenic is Como and you can take an organised tour from Milan. The setting has the Alps as a backdrop. In Como itself there are fabulous old villas, interesting museums and plenty of colours. You can take a cruise on the lake to Bellagio and enjoy a relaxing lunch. In the winter time you may want to go up the cable car to Brunate and have a great view over the region.
Tours from Milan also offer a chance to see Lake Garda via Verona where you can see the largest opera stage in the world and of course the balcony where Juliet was purportedly standing waiting for Romeo. There is still a debate as to whether they were fictional or real characters but one reality is the statue of Juliet in the courtyard and the tourists who visit to see it. There are other sites in Verona including the Roman Arena which can hold 20,000 spectators and is still an active theatre.
There are many charming towns around Italy’s largest lake, Garda. You can see the lake on a day trip from Milan and perhaps make a mental note to return sometime in the future. In terms of distances Lake Garda is equidistant between Milan and Venice and of course this is a city that justifiably is one of the most visited of all.
It is a comfortable three hour journey from Milan. Everyone wants to take a gondola on the Canal Grande and there are plenty of other things to see and do in this famous city. The city’s patron saint is St.Mark and the Basilica holding his remains has frescoes telling his story. It was built in 829 and consecrated nearly two centuries later. The city was ruled by the doge who was elected by the population and the Palace of the Doge is another place to visit.
If you feel you have seen enough water then you may decide to go on a trip to Bergamo just a short journey from Milan. There is much to see in this Renaissance city that was dominated by Venice in years gone by. The facade of the Palazzo della Ragione has the lion of St. Mark but Bergamo has its own patron saint, Alessandro and the 17th century cathedral in Bergamo is dedicated to him.
Northern Italy has much to offer and once you have been there you are likely to want to return. There is so much to see you won’t be able to do it in a single visit.
Image attributed to Freedigitalphotos.net dan