Cernobbio and Lake Como offer many activities to indulge in on sunny days, but when the weather is rainy, why not take the opportunity to visit a great city as rich in culture, tradition and history as Milan?
Milan can be conveniently reached in less than an hour’s drive from Corte di Zizi or, alternatively, you can take the direct train from Como Lago station to Milano Cadorna station, the starting point of the proposed itineraries, in an hour.
This station is served by two major subway lines, the M1 red line and M2 green line. It is possible to purchase tickets for a single ride, but for those who plan to use public transportation several times during the day, it may be convenient to purchase a daily ticket, valid for 24 hours from the first validation on all subways, buses, streetcars and the rail loop.
What to do in the rain, for those who have never been to Milan:
From Milano Cadorna station it is a few minutes’ walk (or one stop on the subway on the red line, direction Sesto I Maggio, “Cairoli-Castello” stop) to Castello Sforzesco.
The striking building houses a museum(info and tickets), but it is worth stopping there just to admire its courtyards, walls and deep moats, breathing in a medieval air.
After a photo of the famous fountain, you can decide to reach Piazza Duomo by 2 metro stops or a short walk along Via Dante, one of Milan’s shopping streets.
Once you reach the square, a visit to the cathedral is a must: tourist access to the cathedral is charged(info and tickets), while admission for prayer and celebrations is free, however you have access to a restricted route.
There is also the possibility to access the Terraces of the Cathedral (with a separate ticket) and enjoy a striking view from above, among the spires, but this activity is recommended only on sunny days.
If you start to get hungry after a busy morning, the area offers options for all budgets: for a quick stop you can indulge in one of the famous panzerotti from Luini or a slice of pizza on the fly from Spontini, while if you are looking for a restaurant you can opt for the trattoria “Nennella’s” (Milanese version of the famous Neapolitan osteria) or go up to the seventh floor of La Rinascente and enjoy traditional dishes at the Maio Restaurant, with a breathtaking view of the Cathedral.
After a good cup of coffee, treat yourself to a stroll to nearby Turin Street, which in a small side street houses the Church of San Satiro (info and hours).We won’t reveal what’s so special about this little building, or we’d spoil the surprise!
Turin Street and Corso Vittorio Emanuele can be a great starting point for those who want to indulge in shopping; however, if you want to visit other cultural spots, the Museum of the Twentieth Century (times and tickets) and Royal Palace (hours and tickets), both in Cathedral Square, always offer permanent and temporary exhibitions for every taste.
What to do in the rain, for those already familiar with the Cathedral area:
From Milano Cadorna station, it is a short walk through the nearby Sempione Park to the Triennale building, which hosts several permanent and nonpermanent exhibitions (info and tickets) in a design structure.
Once the visit is over, it is advisable to return to Cadorna and take the green subway to reach the Brera district (Lanza stop, Gessate/Cologno direction) even in the rain, getting lost in its narrow streets becomes an atmospheric experience, with a variety of bistros and artistic venues where you can have lunch or indulge in an aperitif.
Then a visit to the historic Pinacoteca di Brera (info and tickets), which houses famous works such as Raphael’s “The Marriage of the Virgin” or Bellini’s “Pietà,” cannot be missed.
If, on the other hand, you have already visited the Pinacoteca, taking the green metro again from Lanza and heading to the S. Ambrogio stop (Assago/Abbiategrasso direction), you will have a chance to visit the church of the same name(schedule and info) and, a few minutes’ walk away, the cloisters of the Università Cattolica built by Bramante.
About ten minutes from the stop are also the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and Leonardo’s Last Supper (reservations are required, here).
What to do if the weather is good, for a less famous itinerary:
If this is not your first visit to Milan, you are probably familiar with its most famous and touristy places.Taking advantage of the good weather, it is worth exploring one of the more modern and lesser-known areas of this ever-evolving city.
From Cadorna station you can reach the Brera district either by green subway, (direction Gessate/Cologno, Lanza stop) or by a walk of about a quarter of an hour through the Castello and Piccolo Teatro areas.
Once you arrive, a tour of theBotanical Garden(info and tickets) will make you forget that you are in a big, chaotic city.
From this district you can then easily reach the luxurious Corso Como, full of restaurants and fashionable stores, and Piazza Gae Aulenti: here fountains with water features and ultramodern skyscrapers await you, including the famous Bosco Verticale, home to many Milanese VIPs.
The recently modernized area also boasts a beautiful park known as the “Library of Trees”: a large green area with children’s games and sports equipment in which to rest after a busy day as a tourist.
What to do if the weather is good, an undemanding (half-day) itinerary:
If you can only devote a morning or afternoon to Milan during your stay at La Corte di Zizi, and you have already visited the main attractions, an area to discover may be the Navigli.
From Cadorna station, taking the green subway in the direction of Assago/Abbiategrasso and getting off at the Porta Genova stop, you reach Milan’s Darsena in a quarter of an hour: the area has been greatly enhanced in recent years and you can walk along the water basin thanks to a pedestrian path.
A number of boat trips on the Navigli also depart from here(more information here), but our advice is not to give up walking along them as well, crossing the small bridges that join the two towpaths, browsing the quirky little stores of records and vintage clothes and discovering their hidden corners. Did you know that the smallest bar in the worldis located here?
The area is always busy, but it comes alive even more starting in the late afternoon, when young people begin to gather in small taverns or chic little places for an “apericena” in true Milanese style.
Lugano is one of the largest and liveliest cities in the Canton of Ticino and, thanks to its strategic location just 30 km from Cernobbio, it is an ideal destination to spend both rainy and fair weather days among museums, excursions and shopping.
The first stop for those arriving in Lugano can only be the majestic Cathedral of San Lorenzo, which is a 5-minute walk from the Central Station.
Also in the immediate vicinity are two other important places of worship, the churches of San Carlo and Santa Maria degli Angioli, which house Renaissance frescoes by Bernardino Luini and paintings from the 18th century.
Another point of great interest is certainly the LAC, or the city cultural center “Lugano Arte e Cultura”: the modern facility hosts from time to time exhibitions of great artists from Ticino and elsewhere, events and workshops for different age groups(all information here).
Even if the weather is not the best, from the LAC you can stroll along the beautiful Lake Lugano: in a little more than a quarter of an hour you will have reached the city center, and here you can stroll and get lost browsing among the stores on Via Nassa, all the way to Piazza Riforma.
If you are also a chocolate lover, do not miss the opportunity to participate in a tasting organized by the many pastry and chocolate shops in the city, to end your trip in… sweetness!
What to do in good weather
If you find yourself in Lugano on a sunny day and instead of visiting museums and churches you prefer to be outdoors, the city offers many alternatives.
Strolling along the lakefront you will easily reach the Civic Park, one of Lugano’s most picturesque places: divided into two zones, the first with Italian and English gardens, the second wilder, it is ideal for relaxing, taking photographs and letting the children have fun in the dedicated play areas.
Also inside the park are the Natural History Museum and the Cantonal Museum, as well as a restaurant for dining without leaving the peaceful atmosphere of this place.
From the park it is then possible to reach, by bus number 11 (schedule and routes), Mount Brè, which with its belvedere offers a breathtaking view of the city.
To return to the center, one can then use the funicular railway, so as to enjoy the view on the way back as well.
Finally, boats depart from the funicular stop, offering various routes to admire Lugano from the water.