The Best of Milan, Verona & Lake Como in 8 Days
Explore the luxurious city of Milan and take in the breathtaking architecture of its Duomo from the spectacular rooftops. Fall in love with the romantic culture of Verona and all of its beautifully colored buildings. Discover the incredibly blue waters of Lake Como and relax lakeside with an Aperol Spritz in hand at all times.
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Where to stay
Hotel Indigo Milan - Corso Monforte
A chic boutique hotel in Milan, Italy, where modern design meets historic charm on Corso Monforte.
Bulgari Hotel Milano
A chic oasis in the heart of the city’s shopping district, home to a see-and-be-seen aperitivi bar and rare treat indoor swimming pool.
Complimentary lunch or dinner for two, once during stay (value of $100, excludes alcohol.)
Breakfast for two daily.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Hotel Royal Victoria
Refined property in a building from the 19th-century with traditional rooms and suites offering views of Lake Como.
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Day 1: Arrive in Milan and check-in to the hotel
Walk around Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Named after Italy's first king, this is the oldest shopping mall in Italy and hosts all the high-end stores. Great for shopping in one of the most well-known shopping capitals of the world! Here you can also find many restaurants to sit and get a bite to eat before your afternoon tour.
A bike tour is the best way to get acquainted with a new city! It is always best to do this on your first day to form a sense of direction! Your tour guide will provide you with a history of the culture and various popular landmarks.
Aperitivo at Terrazza Aperol - Aperitivo is the Italian version of "Happy Hour" but it's more than just that - It's enjoying each others company while sipping on a refreshing beverage and savoring a light pre-dinner snack. Terrazza Aperol is a terrace that offers stunning views of Milan's Duomo and of course, do not skip out on enjoying an Aperol Spritz here.
Visit the Duomo di Milano - This cathedral is the 2nd largest Catholic Church in the world. It took nearly six centuries to complete. Construction began in 1386, and was completed in 1932. The Gothic architecture is truly breathtaking. The rooftop is open to the public, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset over all of Milan. This experience is a must do to discover the breathtaking unrivaled views of the city. There is a stair or lift option. €10 for stairs, €14 for lift. We did the lift option, but it still was quite a lot of stairs, and they are made of marble so I recommend not wearing heels. You can walk around the whole cathedral, take in all the amazing architecture/religious statues, and experience a 360 view of the city.
Dinner at Obica Duomo.
After taking in the beautiful view of the city, walk over to Obica, a nearby rooftop restaurant that overlooks the Duomo. Don't skip on trying some Mozzarella from their Mozzarella Bar!
Gelato - You can't finish your first day in Italy without enjoying some refreshing gelato!
Day 2: Head to Verona
Wake up and have breakfast.
Train to Verona. Trains leave every 30 minutes from Milan Centrale station and it's about an hour and 15 min train ride. Cost around $20 pp.
Check into your hotel in Verona.
Tour Verona Arena
The Arena is located in Verona’s main square, the Piazza Brà. It is decades older than the Rome Collesium and is the 3rd largest ancient amphitheater in the world. The Arena remains in use today for public events, including the world-famous open-air opera series held each summer. It can host crowds of up to 22,000. If you are visiting in the summer months, I would definitely recommend attending an opera show. Admission is €10, or free with the Verona Card (pro tip below). Admission hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 7pm with the last admission at 6:30pm. Hours can be reduced when preparations are being made for events.
Lunch/Aperetivo at Teta De Giulieta – This restaurant is located in the Piazza della Erbe, which is known for being one of the most picturesque piazza's in all of Italy, with colorful, historical buildings, shops and restaurants around the square. Most of the buildings in this square trace back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Teta De Giulieta offers the traditional cuisine of Verona.
Romeo & Giulieta Show - Experience Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed in its original setting of Verona, Italy.
Walk to the Piazza Brà to find a restaurant to have dinner while people watching in the square. You should be able to find a place with Gelato to end your day as well.
Pro tip - The Verona Card. The Verona Card covers most of the main sites in the city. The Card can be purchased for 24 hours (€20) or for 48 hours (€25). If you plan on visiting many of the sites that have an entrance fee (such as the Arena, Castelvecchio, Torre dei Lamberti, the museum at Juliette’s house, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, Teatro Romano, etc.) then buying the card is worth it. Once you purchase the Verona Card, it allows you to enter these sites for free.
The Verona Card can be purchased online, at the sites in Verona that accept the Card, and at several hotels in Verona.
Day 3: Verona
Wake up and have breakfast.
If you purchased the Verona Card, spend your day touring the other attractions on the card for free.
If you did not purchase the card, I would suggest touring Torre dei Lamberti and the Basilica of St. Anastasia. Torre dei Lamberti is the tallest tower in Verona, where you can get one of the best views of the city. It is located next to Piazza delle Erbe. Basilica of St. Anastasia is a 13th century Gothic church featuring famous frescoes and a stunning interior. This is also located near Ponte Pietra, which is a bridge that connects the old city of Verona with Teatro Romano and Castel San Pietro. The views from the bridge are beautiful!
Food & Wine walking tour of Verona
Visit local shops and restaurants that provide the true flavor of Verona. The tour starts with a tasting of espresso and Veronese pastries, then you will be taken to a local market for a sampling of Sopressa salami and Monte Veronese cheese. Indulge in a tasting of local wines from the region at a local wine merchant, including the rich red wine, Amarone. The tour also includes a behind-the-scenes look and tasting of how tortellini is made. The tour concludes at Verona's oldest gelateria cafe.
Day 4: Head to Lake Como
Wake up and have breakfast - I would suggest going to a local cafe one morning to indulge in fresh pastries, croissants, and coffee.
Take a morning train from Verona to Milan. Trains leave every 30 minutes and it’s about an hour and 15 min train ride. Cost around $20 pp.
Take a train to Lake Como. 1 hour train journey with trains leaving every hour at $8, pp.
Check-in to hotel in Varenna.
Go for a lakeside walk on Passeggiata Delgi Innamorati ("Walk of Lovers") - I would suggest finding a restaurant to sit in for lunch, while enjoying the beautiful views of Lake Como.
Relax/pool/spa day at the hotel - Relax as this is the half way point of your trip!
Dinner at Ristorante Borgovino - A tiny restaurant with only seven tables inside and two outside, situated in the quaint town of Varenna. Excellent service with tasty pasta dishes.
Day 5: Explore Lake Como
Wake up and have breakfast.
Check out Villa Monastero - This is a villa that has been transformed into a museum and is home to a lakeside botanical garden. The views from here are stunning and great for pictures!
Ferry to the town of Bellagio
If you are visiting between May and September Discover the lakeside beach club, Lido di Bellagio where you can relax, drink and eat. This is one of the few places you can swim in the lake. The price is €50 and includes two sunbeds, one umbrella and one beach towel per person. OR a Gazebo for €200 (2-4 people) which includes one bottle of prosecco and one bottle of water per person, dedicated cabin, one beach towel per person and beach service with two mattresses and table with two seats.
If you do not want to do the beach club, Bellagio still has a lot to offer!
Explore the shops within the town.
Eat lunch at one of the many lakeside restaurants.
Gelateria del Borgo is known to be the best gelato in Lake Como.
Ferry back to Varenna.
Cooking class experience at Vecchia Varenna.
The cooking experience lasts approximately three hours, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm from Wednesday to Friday and is open to anyone, with or without cooking skills. A chef will guide you through cooking fresh pasta, sauce and dessert. The experience ends tasting the recipes prepared on a terrace overlooking Lake Como and includes a starter, water and two glasses of wine per person. There is a group option or a private VIP option. €145 per person/€1200 private group.
Day 6: Visit sights around Lake Como
Take a private boat to explore the villas of Lake Como.
Make sure to tour Villa del Balbianello - The villa is made famous by several movies including Star Wars and Casino Royale. It is one of the most beautiful and most visited villas in Italy.
Villa Carlotta is a gorgeous, large villa in Tremezzo built in the 1600's and is surrounded by stunning botanical gardens.
Make sure the tour guide points out George Clooney's lakefront villa.
Make sure the tour guide also takes you to Orrido di Nesso to see the hidden waterfall which is known as one of the best natural wonders that you can find around the lake.
Ferry to dinner in Tremezzo - Bar Red & White.
Pizzas and pastas from about $10. Main dishes $20-22.
Day 7: Head back to Milan
Wake up and have one last lakeside breakfast.
Take an early afternoon train from Lake Como to Milan.
Walk around the Quadrilatero della Moda, which is an upscale shopping area in Milan. The main street, Via Monte Napoleone, is lined with designer fashion stores, antique shops and luxurious cafes.
Tour Milan and Da Vinci’s "The Last Supper" which includes some sights around the city, The Last Supper and has a lot of time options.
Final dinner in Milan - Dry Milano.
Day 8: Travel day
All good things must come to an end. I hope you enjoyed this guide to The Best of Milan, Verona & Lake Como in 8 Days.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Travel Advisor Bella Rose's guide to Italy, The All-Access Guide to Ischia, Italy.
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This is part of our our longer series on travel to Italy.