Weekend Escapes from Milan

Updated 2009-11-06 14:07

Milan, the fashion capital of the world, is a fascinating place to live and work. With one of the best living standards in Europe and as a hub of industry and business within Italy it attracts professionals from around the world, particularly in the finance and fashion industries but also in English Teaching. Yet for all there is on offer in Milan at times the pollution, traffic and lack of green space can get you down.

Fortunately Milan's position in North Italy offers some fantastic opportunities for quick weekend getaways which allow you to destress, unwind and take in the fresh air of the mountains and lakes. Just a short trip out of the city can be all you need to refresh your senses and prepare for another week or two's work in the metropolis.

Lake Como, situated just 25 miles away from Milan, is a perfect example. One of the deepest lakes in Europe and fringed by mountains and beautiful, luxuorious villas, it seems that everywhere you look there is a stunning vista to take in. With beautiful lakeside towns like Varenna, Bellagio and Tremezzo as well as great shopping in the town of Como itself, it is a tranquil escape from the stress of the city.

Lake Lugano, another stunning lake along the border with Switzerland makes for another great escape - and if you have a mind to, the famous Casino in Campione D'Italia makes for an excellent weekend's entertainment. There are few taxes to pay in Capinone D'Italia too so it is a good place to stock up on duty free.

For a more historical trip, the journey to Bergamo takes just an hour but offers a complete change to the post-war architecture of Milan. Bergamo Alta, a hilltop town above the modern city is a medieval city with 17th century Venetian walls. With its old churches, cobbled streets and stunning views it has a great deal to offer visitors, yet is easily manageable in a weekend with time for a long lunches and plenty of good food and wine.

If you're into skiing or snowboarding then during the winter its perfectly possible to squeeze in a weekend's skiing after your working week is done. For the younger professionals, Livignio offers mountain fun on a budget, complete with a laid back atmosphere and reasonable restaurants, while Foppolo is the largest resort within a close distance to Milan. Courmayeur on the Italian slopes of the famous Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco as it is known in Italy) is also a very popular destination for ardent skiiers.

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