For our wedding anniversary this year we escaped to Italy and Switzerland for a long weekend. We've wanted to go back to Switzerland since our Zermatt trip in January 2015 (I wrote about that trip here and here), and when cheap flights to Milan came up we thought we'd combine seeing Milan with a short trip in to Switzerland. It was a busy weekend, though we were forced to slow down with a 2 hour train delay which ended up being one of my highlights of the trip!
The trip began with a late evening flight to Milan Malpensa, where we stayed the night in an airport hotel. The next morning we were up early for our first train journey to get us in to Milan, where we would then travel from Milan to Tirano then another train from Tirano to Pontresina.
We bought the 'io viaggio ovunque in Lombardia - biglietti' ticket (aka travel anywhere in Lombardy ticket) which covered us for all of our travel, minus the Switzerland leg. At €32.50 for a three day pass it's really good value. We bought it at the train station at the start of our journey (Somma Lombardo). We rode the Milan to Tirano train alongside Lake Como, arriving at lunchtime in Tirano for a quick bite of pizza. Next we were on the Swiss train on the picturesque Bernina line (we rode the regular train rather than Bernina Express so we could get on/off freely). We jumped off at Morteratsch Glacier and walked the well marked trail, which was lined with information points. We continued on the train to Pontresina, checked in to our hotel (Hotel Garni Chesa Mulin) before nipping out for dinner. We had raclette in a lovely wooden chalet next to a roaring fire - we were stuffed with cheese and ready for plenty of dreams.
We stocked up on Swiss chocolate in the morning before our journey back to Milan, via St Moritz and Chiavenna. Starting with a train from Pontresina to St Moritz. The lake in St Moritz was frozen over and after a wander around the town we went for a walk over it, the scenery was gorgeous. We then bought our bus tickets and caught the bus that took us all the way out of Switzerland to Chiavenna in Italy. The bus ride was amazing, winding down mountain road switchbacks and squeezing through tiny village streets.
When we arrived in Chiavenna we had a bit of time before our next train to Milan, so we went for lunch near the station. But when we went to catch the train it didn't show up, and after frantically running around it turned out our train had been cancelled and the next one was due in two hours (I'm sure if we were still in Switzerland this would never happen!). This meant we'd lose a couple hours in Milan in the evening, but since it was a lovely day we were sure to make the most of it and headed straight for gelato. We explored Chiavenna, which we soon started to fall for and think it would make a great day trip from Milan. We walked to Parco Paradiso which was beautiful and had great views at the top.
After two hours exploring we were on the train to Milan (via Colico). It was a very busy train with people standing in the aisles, so it wasn't the most enjoyable. We arrived in Milan in the evening, checked in to our AirBnB on Naviglio Darsena, and popped out for dinner at Risoelatte. It was an interesting restaurant with 60s decor, the food was great and we went with the classic risotto alla milanese finished up with tiramisu.
Our final day was spent exploring Milan. We started the day off by dumping our bags at a bag drop in California Bakery, and then walked the city taking in as many sights (and as much food) as we could. We visited the duomo di milano, San Bernardino alle Ossa, Sforzesco Castle & Sempione Park, and Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio. Fuelled by gelato, obviously.