Historical & Cultural Exploration of Milan Tour

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Total Trip:

7 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy
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Places Visited:

Milan, Bergamo
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The history and culture of Milan can be felt around every corner of the city. Explore Milan’s rich history and intriguing culture during an immersive, 7-day vacation. From ancient Basilicas to world-renowned paintings, discover some of the best attractions and landmarks that Milan has to offer. Step back in time as you tour buildings that date back hundreds of years, and experience the culture of Milan through art and opera. Take a day trip to the nearby city of Bergamo to see another historical

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Milan – Arrive in Milan and Tour of Brera Art Gallery

The Italian city of Milan is rich in history and culture, and the modern business and fashion world blends with the historical landmarks of the city. You will arrive at Malpensa Airport to begin your immersive, 7-day vacation that will have you exploring Milan’s history and culture firsthand. A private transfer will greet you upon your arrival at the airport and lead you to your centrally located and luxurious hotel. Soon, the first of many expert guides will lead your first private tour. This afternoon’s destination will be the Pinacoteca di Brera or Brera Art Gallery. Part of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, the Gallery is a treasure trove of magnificent paintings that will have you marveling at works by Bellini, Tintoretto, and more master artists as you are led around the museum. Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin will be particularly striking; it is an oil painting that depicts the marriage of Mary and Saint Joseph and was completed in 1504. Once the tour concludes, the fresh air of the nearby Brera Botanical Garden will be an ideal place to spend the remainder of the day.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Milan – Tour Sforza Castle and Monumental Cemetery

The soft breeze will bring the smell of freshly baked bread into your hotel room this morning. After breakfast, your tour for the day will first have you traveling to the ancient Sforza Castle. The massive, circular towers of the complex, which was previously a fortress, will surround you as you enter. The castle is now the location of various museums. The Museum of Ancient Art showcases works by the great Leonardo da Vinci, and the Furniture Museum will make you feel like you have stepped back in history. Another special room of the museum will provide you with the opportunity to view the Rondanini Pietà, which is Michelangelo’s last but unfinished sculpture. Carved out of a single piece of marble, the sculpture is fascinating and is a great way to conclude your tour of the castle. Outside, you can then enjoy time to explore Sempione Park, which is located right next door. The park is filled with fragrant flowers, beautiful greenery, and will be an ideal place to pause and spend some time before your tour continues in the afternoon.

With a strong cup of espresso in hand, you will continue with your guide on a tour of Monumental Cemetery. Recognized more as an open-air museum, the Cemetery contains many intricate and detailed sculptures that are dedicated to great individuals and families of the past. You will tour the main building, the Famedio, to see its beautiful interior and domed ceiling. Then, you can marvel at the stunning statues and sculptures as you explore the many monuments. The tomb that is dedicated to the Campari family, who were known for their liquor, will be a grand and impressive set of statues. Once the day’s tours conclude, you can venture to a local restaurant for a delicious dinner before the day comes to a wonderful close.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Milan – Visit Milan Cathedral and La Scala Opera House

The bright and rising sun will be a welcome wake-up call this morning. You can savor a sweet cannoli and cappuccino for breakfast before your expert guide greets you to begin the day’s tour. The first destination will be the Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral. The construction of the Cathedral took centuries to complete, but today, it is a stunning display of history, art, and architecture. The Cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world, and you will be in awe of its size and grandeur as you view the many intricate statues, marble floors, and glistening stained-glass windows as you are led around on a private tour. Then, you will ascend to the rooftop to see the gorgeous marble spires and detailed statues firsthand. Here, you will delight the fresh air and broad views of the city that stands before you as you conclude your visit.

Later, you can indulge in a crunchy and cheesy pizza for lunch before venturing to the next attraction for the day: the famous La Scala Opera House. Inaugurated in 1778, La Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. As you enter, the grand interior of the main auditorium will surround you, and the lavish decor with its rows of seating, luxurious velvet, and sparkling chandelier will be exquisite. You will be able to imagine yourself as a great composer, such as Toscanini or Verdi, as you traverse the main stage. Next, you can explore the opera house’s museum, where you will view antique instruments and elaborate costumes. For a truly inspiring experience, you will return to the main auditorium for an evening of opera performance. It will be an amazing show and the ultimate way to further experience the history and culture of this city.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Milan – Day Trip to Bergamo

Today will feature an exclusive visit to the nearby city of Bergamo. After breakfast, you will board your private transfer to begin the short but scenic ride through the Lombardy Region. The medieval city dates back to 49 BC and will be a great way to dive deeper into the history and culture of the area. A local guide will greet you upon your arrival to begin your private tour. The city is divided into an upper and lower part, which are known as citta alta and citta bassa. You will ride the funicular from the modern, lower part of the city to the historical, upper part, which will be the highlight of your visit. You will be able to feel the strength and power of the city’s 16th-century walls, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as you begin to journey around the city, where you can see Palazzo della Ragione, which served as Bergamo’s town hall, as well as the Civic Tower that is known as the Campanone.Afterward, you will bask in the sweeping views of the city that the Tower will provide before your tour continues to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. This gorgeous, 12th-century church features a marble exterior and an interior that is full of colorful frescoes and intricateb tapestries. You will witness the Basilica’s Baptistery before your tour continues to Colleoni Chapel. Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, the Chapel will be stunning and was constructed in the late 1400s. The final stop of your tour will be the Rocca di Bergamo, which is a castle that dates back hundreds of years. Once your tour concludes, you will stop at one of the many cafes in the main square, Piazza Vecchia, to dine on a tasty dish of pasta and refreshing gelato. After you savor the last bite, your private transfer will return you to your luxurious hotel in Milan.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Milan – Explore More of Milan’s Historical Churches

As cafes around the city brew fresh coffee, you will begin another day in Milan. Today will feature visits to more of Milan’s churches, and each one will provide looks into history in addition to the opportunity to see beautiful decor and artwork. The first stop of the day will be the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Constructed in the 15th century, this church features a brick exterior and dome that was designed by the Italian architect Bramante. The ancient church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of a renowned mural. You will be led through the church and into the former dining hall or refectory. It is here that you will see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. The stunning depiction of the Biblical story will leave you in awe due to the vivid emotions and realistic features da Vinci was able to create.

Afterward, you can try a panini and Italian sparkling water for lunch before continuing to the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. Although the Basilica was completed in the 11th century, the site was originally dedicated by Saint Ambrose, who was the patron saint of the city in the fourth century. It is one of the oldest churches in Italy outside of those in Rome, and you will have the opportunity to witness the uniquely-vaulted ceiling and preserved mosaics as you are led around the church. Another intriguing room will be the crypt of Saint Ambrose, which also dates back to the ninth century.

The final stop of the day will be San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. The church dates back to the 16th century and is one of the best-preserved churches in the city. Colorful, well-preserved frescoes adorn the walls of the interior of the church, and they are breathtaking. Ancient stories will come to life as the magnificent paintings surround you from every angle.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Milan – Discover Merchants Square and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

If you gaze out your hotel window, you may be able to see the streets as the begin to fill with locals and tourists alike. Soon after breakfast, you will be greeted by the day’s guide who will lead you on a tour of the attractions in Piazza Mercanti. This centrally-located square is filled with amazing buildings to see. You will instantly feel as if you are stepping back in time to the medieval ages as you enter. You will see the Palazzo della Ragione, which housed the courts of the city and dates back to 1233, in addition to the Loggia degli Osii, which is a judicial building that features beautiful arches and statues. Next, you will marvel at the Gothic details of Casa dei Panigarola, which served as the city’s notary seat before exploring the Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine, a 17th-century school that many Milanese scholars attended.

The afternoon’s destination will be Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is a true combination of history and culture. As Italy’s oldest shopping mall, the Galleria is steeped in history, and you can learn about its intriguing past from your guide as you admire its gorgeous architecture. Then, you can immerse yourself in the culture of Milan as you enjoy free time to explore the many high-end shops and boutiques. The city is known as a fashion capital of the world, and the greatest brands in fashion will be at your fingertips. The fragrances of luxurious Italian leather will waft in all directions and will see gold jewelry sparkle as you discover Prada, Fendi, Versace, and more. You can stop for a delightful meal at one of the Galleria’s many restaurants or cafes before you then return to your hotel for the evening.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Milan – Depart for Home

You can savor one last Italian breakfast with espresso in hand before taking the chance to head to the streets to see one more historical attraction: the Arco della Pace or Arch of Peace. Construction on the Arch began in the 1800s and was originally designed to celebrate Napoleon. Later, in the 19th century, it was rededicated after Italy became unified. The intricately carved statues and grand marble design of the Arch will make it the perfect last stop of your trip. You will return to your hotel, where a private transfer will wait to bring you to Malpensa Airport for your return flight. You will return home fully enriched by Milan’s fascinating history and culture.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

expand/close
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Trip Highlights

  • Delight in a visit to the Brera Art Gallery to see world-renowned paintings, including Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin
  • Marvel at the ancient Sforza Castle during a tour, where you will see the Rondanini Pietà, which is Michelangelo’s last sculpture
  • Witness amazing monuments and gorgeous statues during a guided tour of Monumental Cemetery that is recognized as the city’s open-air museum
  • Bask in unparalleled views of Milan when you ascend to the rooftop of the Milan Cathedral during an intriguing tour
  • Experience an unforgettable live performance at the famous La Scala Opera House
  • Immerse yourself in Bergamo’s 16th-century walls, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during a day trip to the city
  • Venture through the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to view Leonardo da Vinci’s stunning Last Supper painting
  • Explore the history and vibrant culture of Italy’s oldest shopping mall, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, during an exciting visit
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Detailed Description

This discovery-tour of Milan’s history and culture will take you to ancient buildings, historical churches, and wonderful museums. You will land at Milan’s Malpensa Airport to begin this exciting journey. After becoming acquainted with your luxurious hotel, you will enjoy a private tour of the Brera Art Gallery, where you will be able to witness timeless paintings by great artists such as Raphael and Tintoretto. The following day, you will continue your exploration of Milan’s history with visits to Sforza Castle and Monumental Cemetery. The ancient Sforza Castle is home to fascinating museums, and one of them is home to Michelangelo’s last sculpture, which you will be able to see during your exclusive tour. Monumental Cemetery is considered more of an outdoor museum than a cemetery, and you will be in awe of its gorgeous statues and monuments.

An Italian pastry and freshly brewed espresso will be the perfect way to begin your next day. After breakfast, you will venture to the Milan Cathedral for a private tour. The architecture and details of the Cathedral will be stunning, and you will appreciate the stained-glass windows and works of art. You will have the unique opportunity to view the city from a unique viewpoint when you ascend to the rooftop of the Cathedral and enjoy the unparalleled views. Later in the day, your tour will continue to the legendary La Scala Opera House. After you take in the beautiful decor of the main auditorium and antique instruments of the museum on a guided tour, you will immerse in the culture of Milan with a live opera performance. The amazing show will be memorable and a wonderful way to culminate your day.

The following day, you will indulge in an excursion to the nearby city of Bergamo. Here, you can view ancient buildings, the 12th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the spectacular Colleoni Chapel during your tour of this medieval city. After the day’s exciting trip, you will return to Milan by the evening. Another wonderful look into Milan’s history will await you on day five as you explore more of the city’s magnificent churches on guided tours of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, and San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. Colorful mosaics, detailed frescoes, and well-preserved paintings will be found at every one of these special destinations, and the opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper will make the visit to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie especially unforgettable.

As the sun rises over Milan on the morning of day six, you can savor a tasty breakfast before your tour for the day begins with a visit to Piazza Mercanti. The delightful square is filled with historic buildings, and it will transport you back in time as you discover ancient buildings that used to house the city’s courts and notary. You will also have the unique chance to see a 17th-century school. In the afternoon, you will transfer to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is Italy’s oldest shopping mall. Here, you will be able to immerse yourself the culture of the city as you journey around the many high-end shops and boutiques. A stop in one of the mall’s delicious cafes or restaurants will be the ideal way to end your visit.

Finally, on the morning of your last day in Milan, you can delight in one more walk around the city before a private transfer leads you to Malpensa Airport for your return flight home. You will have experienced the best of Milan’s history and culture during your amazing weeklong vacation. Consider learning more about our travelers’ favorite Italy travel experiences by reading their Italy travel reviews.

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Starting Price

$1920 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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