Mike Van Niekerk shares tips from one of Italy's most beautiful cities.

1.

Milan's Malpensa Airport is well served by international flights from New Zealand, and there are express trains to two of the city's main train stations.

2. Cadorna Station is also the gateway to Lake Como, just an hour away by train foraday trip. In Como you can get a hop-on, hopoff ferry ticket to explore the lake's waterside towns.

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3. Go early to get tickets for the Duomo, or avoid the long ticket queue at the main office off the piazza by buying a ticket at the Duomo museum alongside. Female visitors have to buy cheap shawls to cover bare shoulders, so come prepared.

4. Most of the city's older art galleries have good collections, held in impressive old palazzos. The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is recommended foradisplay of Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus, a painting by Da Vinci of a musician and Caravaggio's painting of a basket of fruit, two of the most amazing paintings in all the city's collections.

5. Milan is famous for one more Da Vinci painting — The Last Supper. Despite its poor state, it is still a special experience to stand in front of the fresco in the chapel of the Santa Maria della Grazie and see it for real. Visits are limited to 15 minutes and you can't buy tickets on the day — go to the official website and book ahead before you leave New Zealand.

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