MONZA ITINERARY: 1 DAY

After living here for 2 years, I discovered the BEST OF MONZA BY FOOT. Here’s what I would do if I were visiting the center of Monza for the day- this guide is a combination of culture and culinary delight, enjoy!

1) Most people arrive in Monza by train, so just exit the station and walk up the stairs to get to the center of Monza. Walk across the street at the crosswalk (if you wait to cross later… you’ll get stuck). Turn right to head towards the center of Monza. (If you’re coming by car I would just ask to be dropped off in the same area because street parking is a problem- be prepared to pay for a spot).

2) Once you’re in the center of Monza, you have two options for breakfast- if you’re interested in going INSIDE the Duomo (church), read OPTION A, if not read OPTION B:

OPTION A: I would head straight to the Duomo (Church) during the day ONLY if you want to go inside (otherwise you can go at night). It’s tucked away behind the shops, but you’ll see it if you just look above the buildings (general tip to in Italy when trying to find the main church). 

If you want to go inside the Duomo, they usually hold normal mass and they also have tickets to see their museum… and an additional ticket to see “the crown”. “The crown” is supposed to have one of the nails from Jesus Christ’s wrist melted inside of it… but to be honest, I wasn’t impressed- it’s your call.

OPTION B: If you rather hold off to see the Duomo until later (which is my suggestion), go to Safino & Co. to have what has been said, “THE BEST CAPPUCCINO EVER”. I have to admit that their cappuccino is quality- I don’t even have to put sugar in to enjoy the cup… and I usually put at least one packet of sugar in my morning espresso, if not two. You can also pick out a morning pastry (brioche); they’re a little expensive because they’re made with the best ingrediants. Safino is part of the Slow Food Movement which promises the highest of quality, and it really shines through. If I were you… I’d get an entire whole wheat baguette and pair it with honey.

3) After breakfast, you can walk back onto the main road and visit the Arengario. The Arengario hosts many exhibits which are usually free. Just walk up the steps to the tower to see if there’s something featured, and even if you’re not interested in the display, just enjoy the view!

4) Take a walk around the area, if you like to shop, there are designer stores everywhere you look. On Thursday and Sunday there’s a local market in Piazza Cambiaghi, so definitely check that out, and make sure to stop in Piazza Trento e Trieste to see the war statue.

5) For Lunch, I recommend walking down Via Vittorio Emanuele II and making a right on Via Bergamo to take advantage of Turne’ Monza’s Lunch special. The food is authentic Italian and out of this world amazing. The chef creates the menu on a daily basis but I can assure you that it will be GREAT. First Course: 5,00 euro // Second Course: 7,00 euro // Both Courses: 10,00 euro //  Dessert: 3,00 euro // Whether you choose to have the 1st Course, 2nd Course or both, the meal includes cover charge, a bottle of water & coffee, can you say: STEAL?

6) After lunch I would recommend digesting with an icecream (gelato) or a fruit slushie from Gelateria Il Ranocchio. It’s just down the street from Turne’ and it’s my FAVORITE icecream shop in Monza (Pistacchiodo is a close second and closer to the main train station incase you want to grab a cone on your way out)! If you stop by Ranocchio, I recommend the following flavors: BANANA, PISTACHIO, COFFEE (caffe), and really, any of the fruit flavors- THEY’RE SO YUM!

7) While finishing your icecream, walk down Via Lecco (with a blanket/can of bug spray) and go into the park at the Via Lecco entrance. Monza Park is the fourth largest gated park in Europe and is totally great for a relaxing day in the sun or a bike ride. You can stay there until 8pm, but after 8pm, the gates are locked for the night.

8) From the park, walk to Via Torti to find the best pizzeria in all of Lombardy. Not lying. However, it is wise to make a reservation in advance unless you plan to go sometime between 7:00-8:00pm. After 8:00pm it’s booked until 10:00pm and if stuck in that predicament… I’d still wait… it’s SO worth it. La Pizzeria is my all-time favorite pizza restaurant and I recommend getting the following pizzas:

#12, Margarita Pizza

#17, Pepperoni Pizza

#33, Thin Slices of Eggplant with 4 Olives

#45, Proscuitto Crudo

#53, Smoked Salmon with Brandy & Rucola

To be honest, you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose… so if you can’t read the menu (since it’s only in Italian), don’t worry- I’m sure you’ll end up with something amazing!

FYI: DO NOT ASK TO SUBSTITUTE ANYTHING ON YOUR PIZZA- IT’S NOT ALLOWED.

And for dessert, it would be in your best interest to reserve the Chocolate Mousse on arrival because it sells out insanely quick! It’s similar to tiramisu… but instead of mascarpone, they use chocolate mousse… dangerously good. 

9) For a glass of wine, head back to the center of Monza near Lion’s Bridge and go to Mulino by the bridge. You’ll probably end up standing outside on the bridge because seating is limited and this place is ALWAYS packed! It’s a fun atmosphere, filled with beautiful people; enjoy your wine, but just watch out for cars ;)

10) Now it’s time to walk down the street to the Duomo to admire the exterior of the church at night time. Take a seat at Tearose and order a cocktail or a pot of tea. If you’d like a dessert, I highly recommend getting a monoporzione (tiny little cake for 1 person, supplied by the local bakery, Il Dolce Cortile). FYI: The view of the Duomo and the atmosphere of Tearose are worth the extra euro here and there… trust me, it’ll be worth it after your long day…

Well, that’s the end of it! I really hope you enjoy your trip to Monza! If you plan on staying longer, check out Villa Reale (in the park), Autodromo (F1 Race Track), and definitely try an aperitivo! Recommended aperitivo bars: Cristal near Lions Bridge/the Tribunale building OR if you’re here on a Sunday, you must go back to Turne at 7:00pm, no later than 7:20pm… you’ll see why. Have fun!

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