Guided Tours in Milan
Discovering Milan's Masterpieces
Discovering Milan's MasterpiecesIn spite of its bustling, modern incarnation as the fashion and business capital of Italy, Milan offers enchanting treasures from its glorious past. Founded by the Gauls in the 4th century BC, the ancient city of Mediolanum was named after its strategic position in the middle of a fertile plain. From Roman domination to recent times, wealthy clients and important artists have left countless vestiges of their power and taste. First stop on our itinerary is Leonardo's Last Supper, considered a highlight of Italian Renaissance painting due to its artistic, theological, and scientific implications. A fifteen-minute walk takes us to the Sforzesco Castle with its unforgettable skyline and beautiful courtyards. It was the residence of the Sforza dukes in the 15th century and now houses the Sculpture Museum. Here we can admire Michelangelo's final work, the touching Rondanini Pieta, on which he was working the week he died. Downtown, the majestic Late Gothic Duomo enchants with its marble-encrusted facade and fabulous spires. The huge square in front of the Cathedral is flanked on the right by the porticoes of Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade. The cast-iron and glass dome of the gallery shelters the luxurious cafes and shops within. The Arcade leads to La Scala opera house, probably the most famous theater in the world. Unless a rehearsal is taking place, it is possible to visit the wonderful neoclassical interior and museum, which displays unique memorabilia of the performing arts from all periods.
From $343.00 Per Group
Milan and 1 other city.
Cremona, Birthplace of the Violin: A Full Day Guid...
Cremona, Birthplace of the Violin: A Full Day Guided TourLove of music, good food and beautiful things are the characteristics of Cremona, a town in the heart of the Po Valley that is universally considered to be the world capital of stringed-instrument-making. The violin in its modern form was born here in the late XVI century and so was Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), the supreme and undisputed genius of the luthier's art. During his long life he built approximately 1,200 stringed instruments, some of which have come down to us and are among the most valuable musical treasures on display in the new Violin Museum. Departing from and returning to your hotel in Milan, first stop on this full day tour is the Violin Museum that opened in mid-September 2013. Here you will meet your local guide and tour this fascinating place dedicated to the origins and history of stringed instruments, with a special emphasis on the technical and acoustic peculiarities of violins. The most important Cremonese violinmaking families are represented here, alongside instruments made by the Amati family, Antonio Stradivari, Ferdinando Gagliano, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini and three generations of the Guarneri family, among others. The town still supports over 70 violin making workshops and its master luthiers produce more than 1,000 instruments a year, exported everywhere in the world. You will visit one of these shops to see how violins, violas, cellos and double basses are made, today as in the past. Thanks to the fertile countryside and the particular attention paid to raising high-quality cattle and pigs, Cremona prides itself on the exceptional quality of its cheeses and sausages. You will get the chance to confirm this by having lunch in a local restaurant (those with a sweet tooth won't want to miss trying torrone, the nougat said to be invented here for a Renaissance wedding banquet). After lunch, you will take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the historic center, starting from the charming medieval square where Palazzo Comunale is located. Other famous landmarks are the Baptistery, the Cathedral and especially the Torrazzo, one of the tallest bell towers in Europe, at almost 330 feet high.
From $237.00 Per Person
Milan and 2 other cities.
Guided Tour of Bergamo, Franciacorta and Lake Iseo...
Guided Tour of Bergamo, Franciacorta and Lake Iseo from MilanThis tour is particularly suited to those who appreciate the pleasures of the good life, where food and wine rises to the level of art. The morning is dedicated to discovering the countless artistic treasures of Bergamo, while the afternoon is given over to verdant vineyards of Franciacorta and the deep-blue waters of romantic Lake Iseo. Bergamo is characterized by its peculiar division into two parts: the upper town, still standing as the fortress of the past, and the lower town, mixing ancient churches and palaces with modern shops and elegant cafes. A funicular connects the two and the tranquil upper town is almost completely free of cars, making it the perfect place for a walking tour accompanied by your knowledgeable guide. Grouped around the spacious, central Piazza Vecchia are the town's major monuments: the medieval Palazzo della Ragione, the impressive Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, flanked by the Baptistery and the splendid, marble-encrusted Cappella Colleoni, built in 1476 to honor the celebrated Renaissance condottiere Bartolomeo Colleoni. Music lovers will enjoy the visit to the museum and theatre dedicated to Gaetano Donizetti, one of the most famous native artists of Bergamo. An abundant lunch in a traditional restaurant concludes your morning in beautiful Bergamo. Franciacorta, known worldwide for its sparkling DOCG wines, is an extraordinarily beautiful area of northern Italy, particularly suited to viticulture. It is considered by many to be the only area of Italy where sparkling wine production reaches levels comparable to those of French Champagne. This scenic region offers a lot more than fine wines; it is a place full of history and ancient villages, hilltop abbeys and sanctuaries, unspoiled nature and great food just waiting to be discovered. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of a typical cellar and a tasting of the best culinary products from Brescia, accompanied by a flute of Curtefranca wine. Not far from Franciacorta is the third destination of your trip: Lake Iseo, Italy's seventh largest lake with the large, bike-friendly island of Monte Isola floating in the lake's blue depths and reachable by a short ferry ride. After a guided visit to the town of Iseo and a panoramic boat ride on the lake, your pleasant visit to this enchanting little corner of Lombardy will conclude with dinner in a typical pizzeria.
From $351.00 Per Person
L'Atelier Sangalli: High Fashion Dreams in Milan
L'Atelier Sangalli: High Fashion Dreams in MilanFor those looking to cultivate their inner fashionista, a visit to the L'Atelier Sangalli is an extraordinary experience not to be missed. No place else in Milan can you find a fully functioning workshop of haute couture where accomplished seamstresses are busy working at early 20th century, pedal-operated sewing machines, using techniques from the 1950s to create handcrafted clothing with a contemporary air (young designer Federico Sangalli calls this place his "Factory of Dreams"). Throughout this approximately 2-hour tour, visitors are introduced to a distinctive method of clothing production that has nothing in common with the mass-produced fashion sold all over the world today. Here, on the seventh floor of a building on the corner of Piazza San Babila, Milanese high society women come to be fitted in made-to-measure confections where the beading, lace, embroidery, and even the buttonholes are all made by hand. The mannequins are old school, too, not to mention sized to each client's body. After learning about the history of Sangalli, and seeing its vintage showroom and workshop, it's time for a question and answer session with one of the stylists. You can ask whatever your heart desires: for example, how much does one of these remarkable dresses cost?
From $494.00 Per Group
Milan and 1 other city.
Mantua, Lombardy's Sleeping Beauty: A Full Day Gui...
Mantua, Lombardy's Sleeping Beauty: A Full Day Guided Tour from MilanItalians refer to Mantua as "La Bella Addormentata", a sleeping beauty that hasn't changed much since the middle ages. About 25 miles south of the popular tourist destinations of Lake Garda and Verona, this beautiful, small city is encircled by lakes that form a remarkable artificial fortification created nearly 1,000 years ago. Acting like a moat, the lakes have insured that the size of Mantua has scarcely altered over the centuries. The Legambiente ecology association voted Mantua Italy's most livable city a few years back, and in 2008 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Departing from and returning to your hotel in Milan, this full day excursion is dedicated to discovering the extraordinary riches of Mantova, starting with its main attraction, the Palazzo Ducale. A veritable "city within a city" boasting more than 500 rooms, it is the largest residence in Italy after the Vatican. For 400 years this was the home of the Gonzaga family, the dukes of Mantua who ruled until 1707, putting their stamp on everything in sight. A castle, a basilica and numerous courtyards, sumptuous galleries and gardens are contained within this palace. Also called the Camera Picta (Painted Room), its walls and ceiling were frescoed by Andrea Mantegna starting in 1465. His vault painting appears to extend the room through the roof and up into the blue sky, resulting in an amazing illusion of reality that prefigures the Baroque. After exploring the vast palace in the company of your private guide, you'll be ready for lunch in a typical trattoria where the local specialties include pumpkin-filled ravioli and freshwater fish from the lake. The afternoon's walking tour focuses on Mantua's picturesque squares and ancient buildings: Piazza Sordello, Piazza Broletto, Piazza delle Erbe, Palazzo Bonacolsi, Torre della Gabbia, Palazzo della Ragione, the Rotunda of Matilda and the majestic Basilica of Sant'Andrea by the renowned Renaissance architect, Leon Battista Alberti. On the drive back to Milan, tired and happy, you'll have a chance to relive these moments in charming Mantua where time seems to have stood still.
From $298.00 Per Person
Small Group Tour of Milan's Cathedral & Rooftop
Small Group Tour of Milan's Cathedral & RooftopIf you want to get better acquainted with Milan, first you must see the Duomo, one of the largest and most famous cathedrals in the world. This skip-the-line, small group tour leads you inside the Duomo where your licensed tour guide will reveal all the secrets of this scared building. After viewing the artworks in the Duomo's interior, you will ascend to the rooftop of this amazing Gothic cathedral. Here, from a height of about 230 feet, you will have a wonderful view of the flying buttresses and the 135 pinnacles with their wealth of decoration and remarkable statuary. The roof is formed by slabs of Candoglia marble from Lake Maggiore, and the total roof area is over 86,000 square feet that can be visited in its entirety. Wide open areas interspersed with long corridors offer a fascinating and ever-changing view over the city. On a clear day, you can admire both the Italian and the Swiss Alps. The largest section of rooftop has an area of about 14,530 square feet, covering the cathedral's central nave. Its lateral supports are crowned by a series of pinnacles, while its central (and tallest) spire is topped by a golden statue of the beloved Madonnina, symbol of the city of Milan. After enjoying the breathtaking views from atop this Gothic masterpiece, you will head back downstairs where the tour ends with ice cream and a surprise lucky ritual.
From $87.00 Per Person
Style & Substance: Shopping for the Best of Milan