Off the beaten path Italy itinerary – in two or three weeks

A two weeks Italy  itinerary off the beaten path for the travelers who already enjoyed Italy essentials, and look for more. Discover Milan, Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Apulia and Sicily.

Civita Bagnoreggio_the dying city_115
Civita Bagnoregio

What? Visiting Italy without seeing Rome? Not even Florence or Cinque Terre? Yes, that’s what I mean, and I didn’t get crazy!

Here are five good reasons why you may wish to skip Italy main touristic highlights and to explore less famous (but for that reason even more fascinating!) destinations:

  • You already saw them in your previous trips (sounds logical, indeed)
  • You’re tired of seeing more tourists than Italians (yes, that’s what can happen in Rome, Venice and Florence in high season!)
  • You are looking for the real Italian atmosphere
  • You believe that there’s much more to see than just St Peter, St Marc and Piazza della Signoria (and you’re right!)
  • You hate doing what everybody else does

So for you maverick travelers, here is my itinerary, to be enjoyed in two weeks or more. Of course, you can cherry pick any of these destinations and add it to a “classical” Italian tour: you won’t regret it!

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Milan in one day walking itinerary: best places to see and things to do

One day in Milan_the Galleria

How to visit Milan in one day, with an easy self walking itinerary. Discover the cathedral, the galery, the last supper and much more – August 2019 updatewww.delightfullyitaly.com_walking tour Porta Nuova_01

Why should you spend one day in Milan? You probably didn’t plan so far to visit the second town of Italy. Once an industrial pole, Milan was usually not included in mainstream tourist itineraries. However, things have changed. The universal exhibition Expo Milano 2015 has driven over 20 million visitors to Milan, and has made this town one of Europe key destinations in 2015 and beyond.

On top of this, Milan is a vibrant city, rich of cultural events, artistic masterpieces, design and fashion shopping and great food. One day in Milan would make absolute sense in your Italian itinerary, and you may actually consider spending a night in Milan and enjoy its restaurants and night life.

In case you are looking for a great place to stay, have a look at my page: where to stay in Milan: the best 3 and 4 stars hotels.

Even if you don’t have time to sleep there, you may likely pass through its airport or its station, so why not spending one day in Milan? In case you decide to do so, here is a (pretty extensive!) walking itinerary, designed to cover in one day Milan main highlights (click on the image to use the interactive Google map).

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Corso Como and Porta Nuova walking tour: discover trendy Milan

Top places to eat, drink and shop in posh corso Como and Porta Nuova Milan neighborhoods. Live the Milan movida and discover new trends. 

Como and Porta Nuova Milan posh districts

In this walking tour I’d like to introduce you to corso Como, Milan and the brand new Porta Nuova neighborhood. This is my favorite area in Milan for shopping, food and Aperitivo.

Milan may not have Rome or Florence classical beauty, but it is indeed a fascinating city, full of contrasts and always balancing between its historical roots and its aspiration to the future.

Nowhere else in Italy you will feel the same energy, and nowhere else you will find the same refinements in terms of food, fashion and design.

This corso Como walking itinerary will allow you to discover some of the most trendy places in Milan, included the brand new Eataly store, where you will be able to find, purchase and eat the quintessence of Italian food.

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Secret treasures of Milan renaissance

A walking itinerary to discover Milan hidden renaissance jewels, beyond the Duomo and the Last Supper

 

Milan is universally recognized as the economic capital of Italy, but it is also a city of art. Historical buildings, villas, monuments, modern-architectural buildings, churches and abbeys all offer a variety of styles and striking details that are well worth getting to know.

Yes, there are the well known clichés: il Duomo, La Scala, La Galleria,  Santa Maria delle Grazie (feturing Leonardo’s last supper…), Sant’Ambrogio, the Castello Sforzesco. But the truth is that there’s much more than that. Milan can reveal fabulous treasures from its twenty centuries history,  if only you take your time to look for them carefully, since most of them are very well hidden. In this post I would like to walk you through fantastic renaissance churches, some of which date back from the end of the Roman empire: after all, Milan was the town where Constantine issued the edict legalizing Christian worship in 313.

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Best Milan aperitivo – top 2018 places to enjoy posh cocktails and buffet

Anguria assassina

Where to go to taste the iconic Milan aperitivo and the many appetizers and buffet included in the price. 

Milan has a long lasting rivalry with Rome, and has often been nominated (likely by Milanesi themselves)  the True  Capital: the business capital, the moral capital, and so on and so forth.

We may endlessly argue about which town of the two could aspire to the title, but one thing cannot be denied: Milan is the capital of Aperitivo.

In no other city of Italy, not even in Venice (read my post on Cicchetti – , or in Bologna, post to come), aperitivo is such a widespread social habit and nowhere else it reaches the same level of locations, glamour and food.

Yes, food. In most Italian cities, the typical aperitivo consists of a drink accompanied by modest snacks such as potato chips and olives (if you are lucky enough not to receive only the drink…). In Milan,  you can expect to be offered an endless variety of dishes such as pasta, risotto, salads, ham, cheeses, meat balls, sausages, bits of pizzas and even exotic food such as sushi or curry, often served as an “all you  can eat” buffet.

For this reason, for many busy Milanese, as well as for the smart travelers,  the aperitivo becomes a clever alternative to dinner at the price of a cocktail (from 5 to 15 Euro).

Top locations are usually poshy and trendy and, during the good season, they may give you the opportunity of discovering and enjoying carefully hidden gardens and courtyards.

There are literally hundreds of nice places to have aperitivo, and new ones pop up every day. I’m going to share with you my favorites, leaving to you the pleasure of working out your own selection.

Cheers!

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