If you’ve all ready explored the typical tourist destinations outside of Milan (Venice and Como, for example), try this unusual itinerary: From Milan’s Porta Genova station, catch a train to Vigevano. Just a half-hour away, it’s a great afternoon getaway for the time-pressed traveler. This quaint town features a central square, the Piazza Ducale, considered to be one of the finest examples of Italian Renaissance architecture. Sip an aperitif in one of the little cafes along the portico-flanked square or enjoy a meal at one of the trattorias nearby.
For the true gourmet, a 20-minute train ride to Cassinetta di Lugagnano (located just north of the small town of Abbiategrasso) is worth the trip when it comes to enjoying one of the best and most romantic restaurants in Northern Italy: Antica Osteria del Ponte. Reservations needed. Piazza G. Negri, 9; (39-02) 9420034.