3 days in Milan and Turin

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Advisor - Carly Quill
Curated By

Carly Quill

  • Milan

  • Italy

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Local Food

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

Mole Antonelliana
Curator’s statement

Milan is a hive of energy, fashion and history. I’ve been several times to visit a close friend, and each time we go somewhere new. While only 80 miles east of Milan, Turin (Torino) feels like a smaller-scale Milan that is livable, walkable and historical; it was the first capital of Italy after the unification of Italy before the capital moved first to Florence then to Rome. Spend a long weekend in these two cities for a taste of Lombardy and Piedmont, a perfect way to start or end your trip in Italy.

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Day 1: Get settled and spend an evening near the Duomo

Portrait Milano

Use your early check-in thanks to several Fora partners and relax, unpack, take a nap and recharge before spending an evening out in Milan. If you have extra time, take a walk around the neighborhood of your hotel and get a sense of the space, maybe popping into a bar or a shop.

Look no further than the 10_11 at Portrait Milano for your first aperitivo in Milan. The outdoor seating lines the atrium of the hotel, a renovated 16th-century former seminary. Indoors, you’re welcomed by a warm, yet modern lounge area. Don’t miss their signature cocktails and light bites.

If you think you’ll be in the mood for a full meal, make a reservation at Spazio, an incredible fine dining restaurant with front-row seats to the Duomo. The interior of the restaurant centers on an unusual tree, giving the space an airiness and lightness to accompany the exquisite pastas and dishes. The Duomo will be the backdrop to your meal, as the restaurant is on the second floor of a building on the Piazza del Duomo.

Visit the Piazza del Duomo, passing through the busy Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II (don’t miss your spin on the toro for good luck!) and the massive outdoor shopping zone (skip the actual shopping here) on your way to view the Duomo at night. I prefer viewing the Duomo at night, it’s beautiful, not hot, and much less busy.

Day 2: History and shopping in Milan

Street of Milan

Start your morning early with a caffe con latte or a caffe macchiato at Cafezal, a café that roasts their own beans, before you make your way to Parco Sempione, the city’s central park. The park features comfortable gravel-lined walkways, making it an excellent starting point for your day. Spend some time walking here to set yourself up before heading to Sforza’s Castle, known in Italian as Castello Sforzesco.

Sforza’s Castle, built in the 15th century, houses several collections of Italian art and history. You can spend one to two hours (or more, if you are a museum buff!) viewing sculptures and art by renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many others. The museum is also home to Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà.

After your morning exploration, visit the nearby charming neighborhood of Brera, known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, art, architecture and boutique shopping. Stop by Cavalli e Nastri and Urzi Vintage for curated vintage selections. Also, explore Vibi Venezia for comfortable velvet slipper flats and view amazing paper, custom leather, and map prints at F. Pettinaroli.

Take a break for lunch at the casual spot Panini De Santis Brera for a quick panino and spritz. Finish your light meal with their surprisingly delectable tiramisu!

Return to your hotel for check-out (late check-out available through several Fora partners) and head to Milano Centrale Train Station to catch one of the afternoon trains to Turin.

After arriving in Turin and checking into your hotel, take a moment to unpack and rest before dinner. Del Cambio is a fine dining establishment in Turin, offering an elegant ambiance with white tablecloths and crystal chandeliers. Enjoy your first evening in Turin!

Day 3: Historical Turin

Italian Food

Begin your day at Palazzo Madama, the original home of the Italian royalty. The self-guided walkthrough tour allows you to set your own pace as you explore various rooms of the palace, including an impressive armory.

Next, head over to Balon, Turin’s flea market dating back to 1847, held every Saturday. Discover amazing home goods, vintage clothing, and art. You can also grab lunch and rest at the nearby Mercato Centrale Torino.

Afterward, visit Mole Antonelliana, where you can ascend to the Tempietto floor, almost 300 feet high, and enjoy a 360-degree view of the city. Before returning for a rest, indulge in pastries at Perino Vesco, known for their excellent bread and pastries—try their biscotti senza zucchero con limone e mandorla (lemon almond cookies without sugar).

For an aperitivo, head to Baratti & Milano, housed in a historic galleria. The setting inside the restaurant exudes a historic charm. Order a selection of small bites and try the classic bicerin, a unique hot drink of chocolate and coffee with whipped cream, or a negroni if you prefer.

Finish your night with dinner at Scannabue, an unassuming yet delightful restaurant in the San Salvario neighborhood. This place pays attention to its wine and food menus, offering classic Piedmontese dishes such as Plin Pasta. Consider trying their tasting menu for a variety of flavors.

Before departing in the morning, take a tranquil walk through Parco del Valentino along the Po River for a peaceful start to your travel day.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Ali Duvaras’s guide, A Complete Guide to Shopping, Food, Art and Culture in Milan.

Advisor - Carly Quill

Travel Advisor

Carly Quill

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.