Romantic things to do in Milan
Famous for their romantic sensibilities, the Italians are widely regarded as the most amorous people on the planet. Where better to visit on a romantic retreat then, than the stylish city of Milan? From jewellery shopping in Valenza to enjoying the luxurious surrounds of a box at the Milanese opera, there is no shortage romance in this two-day itinerary.
Start your romantic day with a visit to Bellagio, an hour and a half from the hotel by car.
Located on the shores of Lake Como, you’d be hard pressed to find a more romantic destination for a morning outing than the so-called “Pearl of the Lake”, the village of Bellagio. This cluster of colourful buildings and cobblestone streets offers ample opportunity for romantic strolls, with delightful restaurants and cafés to enjoy long, leisurely lunches and lake views.
Then, drive for an hour and a half to Parco Sempione.
Located in the centre of Milan, Parco Sempione is a verdant oasis – one of the rare green spaces in the midst of this sprawling city, and certainly the biggest. The perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a delicious picnic stocked with Milanese delicacies, the park is home to a castle, a picturesque lake and plenty of manicured lawns to lounge on.
Next, take a 15-minute walk to get to the Orto Botanico di Brera.
Orto Botanico di Brera
There have been gardens on this site since the 17th century, when they belonged to an order of Jesuits. Today, this bijou botanic garden is an enclosed and tranquil spot; ideal for strolling hand-in-hand past the lush greenery and fragrant flowers.
A 10-minute walk will then bring you to the Terrazza Aperol.
Located in the shadow of Milan’s famous cathedral, Terrazza Aperol is the ideal place to recharge and enjoy a sundowner after a busy day of sightseeing. For the start to a magically romantic evening, do as the Milanese do and order an Aperol Spritz while taking in the sight of the Duomo and the city’s elite strolling past.
Then, make your way to the Ristorante da Giacomo, 20 minutes’ walk or drive from Terrazza Aperol.
Ristorante da Giacomo
This trattoria-style restaurant is renowned as one of the best in Italy, specialising in wonderfully fresh fish and seafood. Eternally popular and for good reason, the atmosphere at Giacomo is inviting, the food is moreish and a table for two is the perfect way to spend a romantic evening.
A 10-minute taxi ride will then get you back to the hotel.
Begin the day with a romantic morning in Valenza, an hour and a half from the hotel by car.
Jewellery Shopping in Valenza
A district famed for its artisanal jewellery, Valenza specialises in producing and selling gold jewellery and handcrafted pieces set with precious gems. The local workshops and boutiques are frequented by residents and visitors alike thanks to the exquisite, one-off items on offer and stunning selection of engagement rings.
An hour and a half drive back into Milan will take you to Santa Maria presso San Satiro.
Santa Maria presso San Satiro
Easy to miss from the outside, but step inside the tiny Santa Maria presso San Satiro church and you’ll find yourself in a stunning barrel-vaulted nave, masterminded by Renaissance architect Donato Bramante in the 15th century. Don’t miss the chance to gaze at the beautiful frescoes up by the high altar.
Then, take a 15-minute walk to Bàcaro del Sambuco for lunch.
Bàcaro del Sambuco
A favourite haunt of the Milanese fashion crowd who flock here for the unparalleled local fare, Bàcaro del Sambuco is a bright and airy, yet intimate, eatery right in the heart of the city. Dining al fresco in the charming covered courtyard is the perfect way to while away an afternoon in the company of someone special.
After lunch, take a 25-minute drive to the Navigli district to walk along the Naviglio Grande canal.
Walk Along the Naviglio Grande
A lively shopping district with an abundance of restaurants, cafés and bars, Navigli’s crowning feature is, in fact, its famous waterway. The oldest canal in Milan, many Milanese couples take an early evening promenade along the Navigli Grande, followed by a pre-prandial cocktail. The area offers charming views and plenty of romantic places to sit and watch the sunset over the water.
Then, take a 30-minute drive to the Teatro alla Scala for a night at the opera.
A Box at Teatro alla Scala
Producing an array of spectacular shows year-round, the Teatro alla Scala – one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses – welcomes international operatic talent to its stage and the great and glamorous to its stunning velvet stalls. Affording the perfect excuse to dress up, and offering the best view in the house, a box here is the ultimate romantic treat for two.
A 20-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride will take you back to the hotel.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.