Let's look at what is beyond Milan. Milan is in a strategic position . . . strategic written with a capital "S". . . close to the Swiss border, surrounded by beautiful lakes, like Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, close to the mountains and the Ligurian seaside.
While this strategic position used to be of great political and military significance; nowadays it is economically well positioned. It offers outstanding leisure time activities. The Milanese love to escape from the city on weekends or over short breaks known as "ponte".
During the weekends in spring and throughout July and August you will find most of the Milanese at the seaside in Liguria. Places like Portofino, Santa Margherita or even the famous Cinque Terre are the hotspots.
In winter you can find the Milanese in the Aosta Valley, skiing at places like the international Courmayeur and Cervinia or in the more distinctive Gressoney or La Thuile.
Just to the west of Milan, you will find the wonderful region of Piedmont with its rolling green hills, vineyards and small towns perched on the hill tops. A perfect spot to spend a day or a weekend exploring the culinary delights of the region. Depending on the season you can enjoy the truffles, mushrooms, hazelnuts, fruits and berries, cheese and of course the wine.
The second largest lake after Lake Garda and the most western one. The northern portion of the lake extends 13 kilometers into Switzerland, so bring your passport if you plan to venture into the northern waters. Famous are the Borromei Islands, Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatori, just off the coast of Stresa, well-known for its mild climate both in summer and winter.
Beauty, romance and elegance is what makes Lake Como one of the most famous and requested places in the world. It is a place where even just having a coffee becomes a lifetime experience to remember and who knows you could also meet George Clooney while he is out with his boat.
A lake that is like a sea - this is how Lake Garda is often described and in fact while other lakes get a bit depressing in autumn Lake Garda does not. A wonderful climate, many possibilities for sports like Golf, Sailing and Surfing and the theme park Gardaland make this lake a great and exclusive family resort.
Just a short drive away from Milan is one of Italy's finest regions for wine. Franciacorta is especially famous for its sparkling white wine made according to the "Metodo Classico" just like Champagne and even though it does have a much shorter tradition the quality is not less. Fine dining and sparkling wine - the right setting for a romantic weekend.
Some say Lugano is what Milan could be if the Swiss ruled it. Some say Lugano is only for business and money. We say that it is a wonderful place for a weekend or even just a trip where you can find good quality of life, a beautiful international atmosphere, fantastic food, extraordinary shopping and lots of fun.
What has Munich got to do with Beyond Milano, you might ask.
Well first of all, according to the Germans Munich is the most northern town of Italy. That is because of its particular lifestyle that is similar to the Italian one and because of the many Italians that live there. Secondly one of the MY-MILANO.COM editors just moved there and is now reporting about her experiences and discoveries. And last but not least Munich is not further away from Milan than some Italian cities. Easily reachable for a weekend trip.