There is nothing like a one or two day shot to Milan and a visit to Lake Como for lunch and a cruise on the lake.
When you arrive at Milan’s Malpensa airport you have two choices, either to stay at the beautiful Sheraton airport hotel that is connected to the terminals, or to take the Malpensa express to the downtown and stay at a hotel in the city. We have made this trip both ways and it depends upon how many days you are staying and what you want to see.
Lately we have been staying for one overnight and enjoying the beautiful Sheraton airport hotel. From the airport you can take a train via a connection in Serrano to Lake Como. The train takes about an hour and is $17.00 each way.
We normally will have lunch in Lake Como and walk the town. The main area of the town, off the lake is beautiful and worth walking. We take an 1-1/2- hour cruise on the lake that makes a number of stops. This cruise is actually a commuter boat on the lake linking the towns on the lake to Lake Como. One of the towns is Cernobbio and is lovely and the home of the famous Hotel Villa d’Este.
After a day in Lake Como, we normally will take a train directly to the city center of Milan and the famous Milan Centrale Station. The train takes about 38 minutes. Walking the main city of Milan is very nice, but the two major tourist favorites are the Duomo church and shopping area next to the church. The Duomo square is wonderful and rivals’ places like St. Mark’s square in Venice.
After completing our visit to downtown Milan city, we normally take the Malpensa Express back to the airport. Information point, if you intend to stay overnight in the city of Milan, Centrale station to the airport. (the Milan Express is not very express anymore). The hotels downtown that we like, that are close to the station are Crown Plaza Milan, the Michelangelo hotel and the Best Western Madison hotel. If you can catch a great rate, the Excelsior Hotel Gallia next to the Milan Centrale Station is an absolutely luxury hotel. Other hotels close to the station are the Marriott Milan and Westin Milan palace hotel.
A diversion to consider is visiting La Scala Opera House, the most famous in the world. The official name is Teatro alla Scala. Located on Piazza Della La Scala and is 10 minutes by taxi from the main rail station. La Scala’s season opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose’s Day, the feast day of Milan’s patron saint. Nearby ae the Museo de Cinema and a part of the opera house is devoted to its history. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary.
Two side trips from Milan and Verona, the historical home of Romeo and Juliet, a beautiful city, and worth the visit. Verona is about 1-1/4 hours from Milan and trains leave every 1/2 hour on this route.