Best of Italy in 17 Days Alums - early arrival in Milan

Hi Best of Italy in 17 Days Alums,

My husband and I are taking the Best of Italy in 17 Day in 2015. We plan to arrive in Milan on a Wednesday morning. So we have the better part of Wednesday, Thursday and need to be in Varenna Friday around 5pm.

Here are our questions:

1)Suggestions on where to stay in Milan.

2)What to see (The Last Supper is a must and we know to book early). Should we spend Wednesday & Thursday day, take the train to Varenna and spend Thursday night and all of Friday in Varenna? Or are there other must sees in Milan to warrant staying the entire early days in Milan and just meet the group on Friday?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by Holly
British Columbia
33 posts

We found the prices in Milan (for hotels) very expensive, however I would check RS book and see the suggestions.

We arrived in Milan early (two days) and took the train to Varenna. Next day we took the train back to Milan and took a day tour (sorry cant for the life of remember the name of it now, but perhaps RS book might have suggestions), which included the last supper. We had early dinner
in Milan and arrived back in Varenna by 7pm. There is alot of exploring to do in and around varenna before the tour starts.

If you are staying at the same hotel as the tour we were part of, it is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. We like to arrive
at our destination, drop off the luggage, have a good night sleep, and hit the road running.

Have a great trip. We had Don as our tour guide and he was outstanding!

Posted by gtjackets8083
7 posts

Thanks Holly,
We hadn't thought of that option. Do you remember the name of the hotel in Varenna?
Gotta love RS alums!

Posted by John
Lollygag, Missouri
46 posts

We stayed at the Hotel Grand Duca di York. Kind of pricey, but it is VERY close to the Duomo and the Galleria. We took the tram to get to "The Last Supper". "The Last Supper" is a "wow"…..but don't miss the Duomo (must go to the rooftop). Cruise through the Galleria. La Scala is behind the Galleria.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8841 posts

I have been happy with two nights in Milan. Rick's book now covers a few sights that are not described in this article such as the Brera Art Gallery and the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio. However, you will have no shortage of art and churches during this tour, so you may want to pace yourselves.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22555 posts

As you want to do some touring in Milan, is there any possibility you could arrive there on Monday or Tuesday, and spend at least two nights there? There is a lot to see, and keep in mind you'll be jet lagged so may not be up to full "touring speed".

I'd suggest going to Varenna on Thursday as that will allow you to do a bit of touring there also, and perhaps take a day trip to Bellagio, Menaggio or other spots on the lake. Walking along the lakeside promenade after dinner is something I always enjoy.

Posted by Grier
Carmel, IN
1175 posts

I also stayed at the Hotel Grand Duca di York before a Village Italy tour last year and was very satisfied with the location, staff, room, and breakfast. I walked to the Last Supper and also saw the La Scala museum, Brera Art Gallery, and Pinoteca Ambrosiana. Walked through the Duomo (didn't go to the top) and the Galleria. I was there only one night, could have used two or three nights.

Posted by Holly
British Columbia
33 posts

Sorry for my late reply but were in Vancouver visiting family.

We stayed at the Hotel Cipressi (but please remember that this was a couple of years ago) so the hotel may have changed. Please check with RS tours before you book. If you do stay there, visit their beautiful gardens. You may also find that there are other tour members that have arrived early and plan to head to milan as we did).

The train station is only about a 10 minute downhill and then uphill for a short distance. We found it very easily. As I mentioned we prefer to reach our destination, get settled, a good nite sleep and then be off and running the next day.

The Hotel has wonderful dinners (as least they did when they were there), but there are also wonderful little restaurants down by the water with gorgeous views.

Have a wonderful trip.


Posted by schmidge
9 posts

Took this same tour a few years ago and arrived in Milan a few days before the start of the tour. I stayed at Hotel Star and would stay there again. I took the train from the airport and the hotel is just a few blocks from the station. It's just a few blocks from the Duomo, the Galleria and La Scala. Instead of taking the train to meet the tour, I opted to take the ferry on Lake Como to Varenna. It was a beautiful day and one of my favorite "WOW" moments of the trip.
Hope you have a wonderful trip!