Cernobbio and Lake Como offer a wide range of activities to be done when the weather is sunny, but what if it rains or if you want to discover more than the Lake area?
Milan can be easily reached by car from Cernobbio in less than one hour. If you’d rather travel by train, from Como Lago Station you can reach Milan Cadorna station, the starting point of our trips.
This station is served by 2 of the main subway lines, the green one and the red one. To access public transport in Milan you need either to buy a single ticket or a daily ticket (valid for 24 hours after the first use on every subway, bus, tram or city train).
What to do if it rains and you’ve never been to Milan
From Cadorna Railway station you can take a walk or take the subway (red line to Sesto I Maggio, stop “Cairoli-Castello”) to reach the famous Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle), an ancient building with magnificent towers and courtyards, hosting several museums; we really recommend to pay a visit and take a picture near the giant fountain at the main entrance.
After your visit, you can take the subway again (red line to Sesto I Maggio, stop “Duomo”) or take a walk on Via Dante, famous for its shops, reaching Duomo Square. Visiting the Duomo is a to-be-made experience: you can enter the Church for free if you wish to pray (you’ll have access to a limited area), or you can buy tickets and get full access to the building. With an additional fee you can visit the Duomo Terraces, but it’s an experience we recommend only when it’s sunny.
If, by now, you’re feeling hungry, have lunch like a local: grab a glorious slice of pizza at Spontini’s or a “panzerotto” (traditional Italian fried dough with different fillings) at Luini’s. If you’d rather go to a restaurant, two of the best options you have are “Osteria da Nennella”, if you wish to taste typical Neapolitan food without spending too much, or “Maio Restaurant” (located on the 7th floor of Rinascente) if tasting traditional Milanese food with a view on the Duomo is what you’re looking for.
After a good espresso, reach the nearby Via Torino and pay a visit to the small Church of San Satiro: we won’t tell you what’s so special about this church, otherwise, we’d ruin all the fun.
Via Torino and Via Vittorio Emanuele are great streets for shopping, but if you prefer visiting some art exhibitions you can go back to Duomo Square and visit Museo del Novecento (900 Museum) or Palazzo Reale, always displaying different artists.
What to do if it rains and you’ve already seen the Duomo area
From Cadorna Railway station you can take a walk through Parco Sempione and reach the Triennale, a building hosting a wide range of permanent and temporary art exhibitions and design projects.
Once your visit is finished, walk back to Cadorna and take the subway (green line to Gessate/Cologno, stop “Lanza”) to reach Brera, known as “The artists’ neighborhood”: get lost in the narrow streets and breath its unique atmosphere, have lunch in one of the small bistros or just sip a glass of wine.
In the afternoon, we recommend visiting the Pinacoteca, a magnificent building where hundreds of famous Italian and foreign paintings are displayed: from Raffaello to Bellini, you can’t miss this experience.
If you’ve already visited the Pinacoteca, you can take the subway (Green line to Abbiategrasso/Assago, stop “S. Ambrogio) and visit the Saint Ambrosius Church. From there, you can walk -in about 10 minutes- to the church where the famous “Last Supper” by Leonardo is frescoed. You will need to book your visit in advance.
What to do if it sunny and you’re curious to discover a new area
If you’ve already visited Milan several times, good chances are you’ve seen the most touristic – yet beautiful – areas.
To see something different, take the subway from Cadorna to reach Brera (green line to Gessate/Cologno, stop “Lanza”) and visit the Botanical Garden: you’ll be surprised by the huge varieties of exotic plants and flowers and you’ll forget to be in the middle of a chaotic city.
From Brera you can then walk to the famous Corso Como, a lively street with luxury shops and restaurants, reaching Gae Aulenti Square, famous for its fountains and modern skyscrapers. You’ll see the famous “Vertical Wood”, two high residential buildings entirely covered in plants and trees, home to many Italian VIP’s.
The area has been recently renewed and a park called “Biblioteca degli Alberi” (Trees’ library) has been created: with its collection of trees and its network of combined cycle routes and footpaths, it’s the best place to relax, lie down on the grass while the kids have fun in the playground area, jog or do yoga after a long day as a tourist.
What to do if you only have half a day
From Cadorna station, take the subway (green line to Assago/Abbiategrasso, stop “Porta Genova”) and in less than 15 minutes you’ll reach the Darsena, a small water basin that was used, in the past, to connect a system of navigable and interconnected canals in Milan. These canals, known as “Navigli”, were later covered and not used for commercial purposes, but they have been recently restored and have become famous for their nightlife.
You can discover the Naviglio Grande with a short cruise or just walk along the canal, exploring the area with its vintage and vinyl shops, tasting some craft beers or having an “apericena”: a drink of your choice served with cold cuts, cheese and more, depending on the bar offer. Did you know that the smallest bar in the world is located here?
Lugano is one of the biggest cities in the Canton of Ticino, located only 30 km away from Cernobbio, making it the perfect choice to spend both rainy and sunny days doing shopping, visiting museums and enjoying a stunning view on the Lugano Lake.
What to do if it rains
The first stop a tourist should make is just 5 minutes far from the Central Station: here you’ll find the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, a famous church with a Renaissance facade, founded in the early Middle Ages.
If you’re more into art, pay a visit to the LAC, Lugan Art and Culture Centre: this modern building with its unique architecture is dedicated to the visual arts, music, and the performing arts. Enjoy permanent or temporary exhibitions and take part in the events and workshops.
Even if the sun is not shining, take a walk along the Lugano Lake waterfront and reach the city center: from Via Nassa to Piazza Riforma, discover the beauty of this city.
Last but not least, if you love chocolate, indulge in one of the tasting experiences available in several bakeries and chocolate shops.
What to do if it is sunny
If you prefer to spend your time in Lugano in the open air, then you can’t miss the marvelous Parco Civico Ciani: a 63,000 square meter park, reachable through the main entrance at the end of the waterside promenade. It is divided into 2 main areas, the first one which has both the features of an Italian and an English garden, the second one which is wilder and has a playground for children to play in.
Parco Ciani is also home to the Natural History Museum and the Cantonal Library; you can even have lunch there, without leaving this peaceful oasis.
From the park, taking bus 11, you can easily reach Monte Brè: from this point, you’ll have a breath-taking view of Lugano.
To go back to the center, just take the funicular which – while giving you a stunning view- will leave you near the ferry boat dock.
From these docks, you can sail for a cruise in the Lugano Lake, enjoying a view from the water.