Tips for Milan

MILAN
RHINE ENCHANTMENT TIPS FOR MILAN
We are currently at the beginning of a Rhine Enchantment River Cruise.
We arrived one day early, getting to the hotel at 1pm and were able to check into our room. Apparently, others had been there from early morning but had not been able to get an early check in.
The hotel is a twenty minute to one half hour walk to the Duomo and La Scala Opera house and the Galleria shopping area. There is a frequent (approx every twenty minutes) hotel shuttle limousine that will carry 5 to 7 people, they vary in size. It has two stop off/pick up points, one of which is directly outside La Scala.
We walked into town and looked around, ate an early dinner, then headed back to the hotel. Early bed.
The next morning, we headed to the Duomo, we had pre purchased tickets on line for the Fast track, guided tour. This means you head up to the roof by elevator, not 300 plus steps. Instructions were not clear where to meet, but it was inside the ticket office on one of the sides of The Duomo, clearly marked. Tip, there are long lines to buy all types of tickets, but our Tauck local guide told us if you need to buy tickets on the day, head for the museum just up from the ticket office because you can also buy them there and not many people know this. Plan an early tour, apart from anything else, it was a hot day and up on the roof it’s even hotter and you still have to climb some stairs to the top level. A wonderful tour.
We also went to the La Scala museum— you cannot go into the opera house, but there is a viewing area form an empty box where you can look into the house. We were lucky enough to see a rehearsal going on for the current production, a Japanese ballet. We enjoyed to museum.
We walked through the Galleria. People watching heaven. Be very aware of your wallets and handbags.
Welcome dinner, first evening. For the first time ever, I persuaded Mr B to take a jacket. There were only about three men wearing jackets! Boy was I in trouble. Some wore dress shirts, others wore polo shirts. A lovely formal dinner.
The first day proper of the tour, we had a guided walk of the main areas with an option to carry on with the local guide to the Brera area, very picturesque with some authentic areas to eat lunch. I had beef ravioli absolutely smothered in shaved black truffles, yummy. We walked up to the Brera museum and were given free tickets to go in, worth $12, a nice Tauck touch. Wonderful museum. More exploring, more heat. Another Tauck touch, they will give you all a Euro to use the bathroom by the Duomo.

Comments

  • We are going on this trip next May 2020. ( Southbound )
    I would love to hear more about it.
    We have traveled with Tauck for 10 years 😘

  • edited July 2019

    We took this trip in May of this year. Without going into great detail I’ll offer some random thoughts.
    It rained almost all of the time while in Milan, Lake Como and our excursion to Zurich. After that the weather was nice but a little on the cool side. Never wore shorts only wore a short sleeve shirt 2-3 times at most.
    If you get to Milan a day or so early you may be too tired to hunt for dinner the first night. The restaurant in the hotel didn’t open until 7 so we ate in the lounge. The food was excellent and the service was as well. Not standard bar fare but real restaurant food. They fill you up on complimentary apps like a charcuterie so no need to over order.

    FYI Tauck does not go into the Duomo or LaScala. Need to book on your own. We took the roof tour of the Duomo and it was great. Be aware that you go part way by elevator and then there is a steep climb. It’s stairs only on the way down. The roof is a little pitched so you have to be steady on your feet. However, we did it in a light rain and I am going in next month for a double knee replacement and I lived to write this review so how bad can it be?

    One night we ate at Eataly. A huge food hall/market with small open restaurants. 10 minute walk from hotel. Very casual and easy.

    Lunch on Lake Como was fun and touristy. Food was fair at best but a good time.

    Can’t comment on train ride to Basel as there was an incident somewhere on the tracks and we had to take 2 locals. Hopefully you will get the planned express through the mountain.

    Excursion to Zurich was nice, but rainy. Nice lunch in a large food hall 4 flights up.

    Day in Alsace region was long with 4 stops but a really good day.

    Be sure to go to Siegfried’s Musikkabinet in Rudesheim. Much much better than I imagined.

    Heidelberg wine estate dinner was very good. Nice evening.

    Düsseldorf is very nice. We were there on a festival day so 10s of thousands of mostly young people in costumes.

    The canal boat ride in Amsterdam was really quite nice and the lunch surprisingly good. We went to the Anne Frank house after. Have to buy tickets online 60 days in advance. They sell out quickly so don’t wait much closer than the 60 day first chance. We had a 2:45 reservation and it was really tight. I suggest 3-3:30 would be better. Went the next day to the Rijksmuseum. If you are staying over this is not to be missed. Can spend several hours there.

    If you are staying over in Amsterdam I’d do not suggest the Amsterdam W. This is the Tauck hotel but I would avoid it like the plague unless you want a room with very poor lighting and the most useless bathroom setup imaginable.

    That’s all I got. Great trip so enjoy.
    Bryan

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