Whether you’re a fan of Italian culture, or just looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Milan, Monza is the perfect destination to explore! In this article, we’ll cover reasons why you need to take a day trip to this magical Italian city. From its impressive monuments and beautiful gardens to its colorful markets and delicious food, learn why Monza should be your next Italian getaway.

Fountain in front of Villa Reale of Monza, Italy on a winter day.

Monza is a city in the Lombardy region of Italy, located just north of Milan. It is best known for its Formula One race track, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, which hosts the Italian Grand Prix. It has hosted almost every single Italian Grand Prix for over 100 years!

But there is much more to Monza than just racing. The city has a long history dating back to Roman times, and there are plenty of sights to see, from the Duomo di Monza (the cathedral) to the Villa Reale (the royal palace).

If you’re looking for a day trip from Milan that combines culture, history and plenty of photo opportunities, then Monza is the perfect place to visit.

When considering a day trip from Milan, most travelers might choose old favorites like Lake Como or Bergamo. Consider visiting Monza. It’s a little more off-the-beaten-path so you can escape the tourist crowds. Plus, it’s a beautiful city with architecture from medieval to neoclassical times.

This guide will give you an idea of how to plan a fantastic day trip from Milan to Monza!

Monza (Brianza, Lombardy, Italy): historic buildings along Via Lambro

How To Get to Monza from Milan

One of the best reasons why you should include Monza in your Milan travel plans is that it is so close. Monza sits northeast of Milan, and the fast train is only 10 minutes. Some commuter trains may take up to 20 minutes.

Regional trains depart frequently from MilanoCentrale and Porta Garibaldi stations and arrive at Monza station in the center of the city.

You won’t need to book in advance, and you can buy a ticket from a ticket machine at the station. If you get a printed ticket from a machine, don’t forget to validate your ticket before boarding! You can also purchase tickets online with the Trenitalia app. E-tickets do not need pre-validation, but you will need to open the app and show the QR code to a ticket inspector.

If renting a car is in your Italian vacation plans, the drive is around 18.5 km (11.5 miles). Although it is a short distance, it can take up to 40 minutes to drive considering the traffic in Milan.

Free parking might be available on Via Giovanni Bocaccio (if you’re early!). Or you can pay for parking in one of the city center parking silos.

Things To Do in Monza

The architecture in Monza reflects the city’s long and varied history. Monza has a number of buildings and structures that date back to different periods, including Roman, medieval, and modern times.

One of the most notable examples of Romanesque architecture in Monza is the Monza Cathedral, which was built in the 11th century. This cathedral is characterized by its round arches, thick walls, and heavy, solid appearance.

There are also a number of medieval buildings in Monza, including the Monza Castle, which was built in the 13th century. This castle is a good example of medieval fortification architecture and is characterized by its high walls and defensive towers.

In addition to these older structures, Monza also has a number of modern buildings, including the Monza Circuit, which was built in the 1920s and is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and unique architecture.

Overall, the architecture in Monza is a blend of different styles and periods, reflecting the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Monza has lots of beautiful buildings and impressive churches. You can’t miss them! Here is a breakdown of all the top things to do in Monza:

  • The Monza Circuit – Monza is home to the oldest and one of the most prestigious Formula One racing circuits in the world. The Italian Grand Prix is held here every year.
  • The Royal Villa of Monza – This is a palace located in Monza and is known for its beautiful gardens and art collections. It was the residence of the Lombardy kings and is now open to the public as a museum. The Royal Villa of Monza is the city’s main landmark. Empress Maria Theresa built it for her son when this area of Italy was part of the Austrian Empire in the late 1700s. Today, it is an opulent stately home with beautiful rose gardens.
  • The Cathedral of Monza – This is a beautiful Romanesque cathedral that dates back to the 11th century. It is home to many works of art and is a popular tourist attraction in Monza.
  • The Monza Park – This is a large public park located in Monza that is home to a number of attractions, including a botanical garden, a lake, and a number of sporting facilities.

    Also don’t miss:
  • Tower of Teodolinda
  • Ponte di San Gerardino
  • Treasures of the Duomo oMuseum

As you stroll around Monza’s historic center, you’ll see there are no cars allowed. Stroll along Via Carlo Alberto (the main street) and Piazza Trento e Trieste too.

What To Eat and Drink in Monza

As with everywhere in Italy, even the smallest towns have signature dishes. If you want to taste traditional dishes from Monza, here is what you should try:

  • Risotto with Luganega Sausage and Saffron
  • Cassoeula with Cabbage, Polenta, and Pork
  • Brianza Minestrone with Rice, Beans, and Potatoes
  • Michelasc Cake with Chocolate
  • Bread and Cookies of San Gerardo

You’ll find fantastic gelato at Leoni Gelateria Monza too.

Where to stay in Monza

If you would like to stay overnight, then stay at Hotel de la Ville Monza, a luxury boutique hotel overlooking the Royal Palace of Savoy and its gardens, and just a 6-minute walk from the historic center. All rooms are unique, and the service is impeccable. The restaurant, The Derby Grill is also highly acclaimed.

A visit to Monza is a great way to experience Italian culture and get away from the hustle and bustle of Milan. Whether you want to explore the historic architecture, sample some delicious food or just relax in one of its many beautiful parks, there’s something for everyone. It’s easy to make the trip with public transport which means it can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of budget. So if you’re looking for an exciting day trip from Milan why not consider Monza? You certainly won’t regret it!


Subscribe & Learn More about Monza F1 Gran Prix of Italy

  • What to Expect at the F1 Grand Prix of Italy
  • How to get a VIP pass with Paddock Access and a Pit Lane Walk
  • Where to Stay and What It Costs to Attend
  • Tips for Watching the Race in Person
  • How to Get There and Things To Do In and Around The City

Need More Travel Inspiration for day trips from Milan?

Monza is only one of the often-overlooked cities many people miss when traveling to Italy. Cities like Monza do not feature in most guidebooks and websites.

The only way to plan your once-in-a-lifetime Italian vacation to Milan is to talk to a local expert. With a custom itinerary, you can be certain that your vacation will be one to remember!

Get in touch today to see how Milano Style can help you plan your dream trip.

About Author /

Celia is the founder and managing editor of MilanoStyle.com. Originally from New York, she now lives in Italy. She believes in living 'la dolce vita' to the fullest and helps travelers discover the best of Milan and Lake Como with custom itineraries and experiences. Email.