Whether you want to see a real-life Formula One race track or stroll around one of the continent’s largest parks, beautiful Monza has plenty to keep you entertained.
You’ll feel like posh royalty strolling through the stunning Villa Reale, located on the banks of the Lambro River and surrounded by Monza Park.
It was built in the 17th Century when Lombardy was part of the Austrian Empire at the request of Archduke Ferdinand and was used by a variety of royal families (including Napoleon’s sister) until it was abandoned in 1900.
Parade through regal surroundings with a guided tour inside the villa, then head outside where you’ll be charmed by the estate’s refined botanic gardens and marble statues.
Villa Reale is one of Italy’s most important properties. Spread across 16 hectares, its historical significance is matched only by its jaw-dropping, green surroundings and elegant interior.
Commissioned by Napoleon’s stepson during the French occupation of Italy, the breathtaking Monza Park was completed in 1808 and spans an astonishing 688 hectares.
Monza Park is Europe’s largest walled park and the fourth-largest enclosed park across the entire continent (for scale, it’s double the size of Central Park in New York!)
Families in Monza love to stroll around here on lazy weekends and it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some downtime with a walk or a leisurely bike ride.
Filled with meadows, forests and ponds, Monza Park is a welcoming, wide open location to immerse yourself in nature. Undoubtedly the crown jewel of this northern city.
Let your romantic side run wild in the stunning Rose Garden, which is part of the Royal Villa complex located just inside Monza Park.
There are over 4,000 different varieties of roses on display inside the garden. Experts flock to study the abundance of rare flowers here and each year it hosts international rose competitions.
Entrance to the garden is completely free, but it is closed on Mondays. The beautiful colours, aromas and fragrances on display make an afternoon here a heavenly experience.
Monza is most famous for the historic Formula One race track which bears its name. No visit to the city would be complete without a trip to see the iconic Monza Eni Circuit.
Currently the fastest F1 race circuit in the world, the track was built in 1922 and is just the third purpose-built motor race circuit in the world after Indianapolis and Brooklands.
Tours of its facilities are available all year round. Here you’ll see everything including the race track itself, the F1 simulator, the media centre and the winners’ podium.
But for a truly authentic F1 experience, try and snap up tickets for the annual Italian Grand Prix. It’s one of the biggest racing events of the year and is held in Monza each September to great fanfare.
Milan’s Duomo is one of the most famous tourist spots in all of Italy, but just up the road in Monza is another beautiful church.
Although not as famous as it’s Milanese counterpart, the Duomo di Monza is still one of the most significant religious buildings in the region.
Despite its name, Monza’s Duomo is technically not a cathedral, but rather a basilica which dates back to the year 600 AD. It is the proud home of Monza’s most famous piece of history, the ‘Iron Crown of Lombardy’.
Produced in the Middle Ages, the crown is made of gold and jewels. They surround a central silver band that — legend says — is made from nails used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
This tiny little chapel will truly take your breath away. While Monza’s Duomo is a much grander and significant structure from the outside, the interior of Teodolinda chapel is just as awe-inspiring.
Located just beside the Duomo, the chapel is covered wall-to-wall in charming frescoes which create an angelic, artistic atmosphere.
Tours of the Duomo and chapel cost €8 and last for 30 minutes, while there is also an informative museum inside too.
One of the best ways to really appreciate Monza is on foot. With historic sites and lush green gardens at every turn, you won’t notice the time pass as you take a gander.
The city’s historic centre is a must during any trip to Monza. Pop by and you’ll see sites like the arengario, an eye-catching 13th Century structure with a bell tower and bended arches made of red bricks which acted as Monza’s town hall.
Just around the corner is the famous Bridge of Lions which connects the town together.
Walk 10 minutes back down the street and you’ll see the Cappella Espiatoria Monza, a monument chapel built outside the Royal Villa to commemorate the site where King Humbert I was murdered.
If you’re staying in Monza then you’ve got to make time for a day trip to the capital of Lombardy.
Milan is just a 10-minute train ride away.
The fashion capital of the world has an endless array of historic sites like the Duomo, Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting, La Scala Opera House and San Siro football stadium.
Milan’s endless array of high-end shopping districts, designer outlets, excellent restaurants and intriguing tourist attractions mean you’ll never be stuck for something to do.
- For more information on places to see in Lombardy visit in-Lombardia.it