Milan travel on test: our reader discovers northern Italy

Milan travel on test: our reader discovers northern Italy

Why Milan?

Ideal for a cultural weekend break, Milan is easy to get to and find your way around. And for more than a couple of days, it makes a great base for trips to the Italian Lakes, Verona and even Venice.

What was your hotel like?

It was modern and clean, with an attractive garden bar serving delicious Negroni cocktails (gin, Campari and vermouth rossi). We were also within walking distance of many of the sights, Metro stations and red tourist bus routes.

What are the must-see sights?

The cathedral, or Duomo, is a marble Gothic tour de force. Take the stairs or lift for stunning rooftop views – on a clear day you can see the Alps. Don’t miss Leonardo da Vinci’s famous masterpiece, The Last Supper at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Plus there’s Sforza Castle, once home to the Duchy of Milan and one of the biggest citadels in Europe.

And what about other local activities?

Shopping (or window shopping) in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade and on Via Monte Napoleone is lots of fun; or save your legs and take a Segway tour! Visit the world-famous La Scala opera house or Milan’s hidden gem, the Poldi Pezzoli.

Tell us about the food…

Milan is famous for ‘Aperitivo’. From 6pm most bars lay on ‘food to go’ with early evening drinks. This includes cured meats, fresh bread, pizza, salads and pasta. You don’t usually need dinner afterwards. We also booked a wine-tasting evening – a wonderful experience, which included a three-course meal. And, of course, we couldn’t leave without sampling a pizza. 

If you're too late to book
tickets for The Last Supper, some city tours include viewings too

  • Italy’s second-largest city, Milan is an hour’s train ride from Lake Como.
  • May and September are good months to visit as it can get very hot in summer. The weather is usually good and the crowds are smaller.   
  • Helen and Mary stayed at the Hotel Manin ( and booked trips with Viator (0203 478 5933,
  • Four nights’ b&b at the centrally located New York Hotel costs from £299pp, based on two people sharing, including return UK flights. Call Cities Direct on 01242 536908 or visit
  • Milan has three airports and most UK airports fly direct. Flying time is about two hours.
  • Some pavements in Milan are narrow and uneven, but taxis are plentiful and cars stop at pedestrian crossings! There are plenty of pavement cafés if you need a break, too.

Find more travel reviews in Yours magazine, out every fortnight.