Monza: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

Capital of the province of Monza and Brianza, Monza is one of the best known and largest municipalities of the Lombard plain, immediately after Milan (which is just 18km away) and Brescia. Inhabited even before the Roman period, the city experienced a particularly flourishing period during the seventh century, when it was chosen among many as the summer capital of the Lombard Kingdom . Today, Monza is still a very undervalued city compared to the large nearby city centers, yet the urban fabric is full of places of interest and monuments that are worth visiting.
That’s why we have prepared an article in which we explain well what to visit in Monza in a weekend, including recommended itineraries, tips on how to get around the city, as well as a small selection of restaurants and clubs in which to spend an unforgettable evening.

What to see in Monza

1 – Monza Cathedral and Teodolin Chapel

Located in the square of the same name, the Duomo of Monza is a minor basilica dating back to the fourteenth century dedicated to San Giovanni Battista. Outside, the structure appears majestic, almost regal, characterized by the presence of the bell tower, almost 80 meters high. The interior, on the other hand, is rich in treasures of all kinds ranging from baroque frescoes to beautiful Renaissance organs, up to the iron crown which, according to tradition, should contain one of the nails used during the crucifixion of Christ: the most precious treasure, however, the precious Teodolinda Chapel remains, Bavarian princess of Catholic faith married twice to a Lombard king. Located to the left of the central apse, the chapel consists of a Gothic polygonal vault, on which scenes from Lombard past history are represented (the frescoes were probably commissioned by Filippo Visconti); moreover, the sarcophagus present here, containing the remains of the sovereign, was the object of veneration for centuries: even today, on the anniversary of the death of Queen Teodolinda (January 22), a solemn mass is celebrated at the altar of the chapel.

  • How to get: the Cathedral is located in the square of the same name. To reach it on foot from the Municipality you need to walk along via Napoleone and then arrive at your destination in 4 minutes. From the train station instead it takes about 10 minutes passing along via Italia. 
  • Timetables: every day, from 9.00 to 19.00
  • Ticket cost: admission to the Cathedral is free, but admission to the Treasury Museum and the Teodolinda Chapel costs € 8.00 full / € 6.00 reduced.

2 – Arengario

In the heart of the historic center, in Piazza Roma, is the Arengario , or rather the ancient town hall of Monza. Built in the thirteenth century, it is the most important civil building in the city, as well as the symbol of municipal autonomy: its construction was in fact made necessary due to an excommunication that affected the authority of the time, which highlighted the impossibility of hold meetings in the portico in front of the Duomo (as was the custom) and the relative need for a new building. The Arengario is clearly identifiable in the city center due to the square tower and the round tower embellished with Ghibelline battlements.

  • How to get: the Palace is located in Piazza Roma. From the Town Hall in Piazza Trieste it can be reached in less than 3 minutes following via Carlo Alberto; from the station, on the other hand, you can reach it in about 12 minutes on foot following the signs for Piazza Roma.
  • Timetables: the hours of access to the Palace, as well as the costs, depend on the exhibitions / cultural events that take place there in a particular period.

3 – Piazza Trento and Trieste

One of the most famous and important squares in Monza is Piazza Trento e Trieste , located a few steps from the Duomo and the Civic Museums. It is an ancient city area dedicated since the Middle Ages to host the weekly market and the very popular fair of San Giovanni (which is why in the past the square was known by the name of Pratum Magnum ). Today Piazza Trento e Trieste is still one of the most popular meeting places in the city, frequented by both young people and families from Monza; furthermore, some important historical buildings overlook here, including the Town Hall and the War Memorial of the First World War which stands in the center.

  • How to get: Piazza Trento e Trieste is very close to the Municipality from which it is less than 1 minute on foot, by turning the corner into via Firenze. From the station, however, we recommend that you follow the signs for the Civic Museums and then turn onto via Firenze (you will arrive at your destination in less than 10 minutes). 
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: Free

4 – Church of San Gerardo

Not easily visible due to the buildings built around it, the Church of San Gerardo is another religious building among the most important in the city of Monza. Dedicated to San Gerardo, co-patron of the city as well as protector of the Tintori , the church was built in about 1835, on top of the remains of a small church dedicated to Sant’Ambrogio (of which the apse and the altar still remain greater). According to a legend, below the church, the remains of the saint are found, buried together with some personal objects including the inseparable cloak.

  • How to get: the Church of San Gerardo can be reached by crossing the two branches of the Lambro river that cross the city. Starting from the Municipality it is necessary to walk along via Vittorio Emanuele II and then follow via Gerardo dei Tintori: you will arrive at your destination in just over 10 minutes. From the station instead follow to Piazza Duomo, then take via Vittorio Emanuele II and via Gerardo dei Tintori: in this case, it will take you just under 20 minutes on foot. 
  • Timetables: every day, from 7.30 to 12.00 and from 15.30 to 19.00
  • Ticket cost: Free

5 – Bridge of the Lions

The Ponte dei Leoni is one of the historic bridges of Monza used for crossing the Lambro river. Built in 1842 following a process of rearrangement of the military route for the areas of Lecco and Tirolo, this bridge was built in place of the previous Ponte dell’Arena , almost three times longer because it allowed the transversal crossing of the two banks through the obligatory passage to the Tower of Teodolinda. Due to the new urban layout, however, the Ponte dei Leoni (built to enhance the power of the Austro-Hungarian empire) stopped aiming at the tower to instead go towards the Arengario.

  • How to get: the Ponte dei Leoni is located a few steps from both the Duomo and the Palazzo dell’Arengario. Starting from the Municipality, you can get there in less than 5 minutes by following via Vittorio Emanuele II. From the station, however, it takes about 15 minutes. 
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: Free

6 – Civic Museums

Among the museums of Monza that are worth visiting, we point out the Civic Museums housed inside the Casa degli Umiliati, a very powerful religious order settled in the city until 1500. The exhibition includes over 140 pieces from civic collections of art, divided into 13 sections according to the historical period of reference: it ranges from the remains of the Paleolithic to the 1950s, up to some works made in ceramic from Isia. Also not to be missed is the collection of ancient and modern prints, contained in the Cabinet of Prints .

  • How to get: the Civic Museums of Monza are located in the historic center. To get there, starting from the station it takes about 9 minutes walking along via Caduti del Lavoro and then along via Italia; from the Municipality it takes only 3 minutes to follow via Firenze. et directions
  • Timetables: from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00 (Monday and Tuesday closed)
  • Ticket cost: full € 6.00 reduced € 4.00

7 – Torre Viscontea

Near the Landro river, on a mighty arch, stands the Torre Viscontea , with the slits of the drawbridge (visible on the eastern side), a small walled Gothic mullioned window and the nearby coat of arms made in stone of Charles II of Spain (located instead on the southern flank). Built in 1808, however, this tower is not an original work but built in imitation of one of the smaller towers of the previous (and fourteenth-century) Monza Castle , demolished towards the end of the 1800s.

  • How to get: the tower is located in via Azzone Visconti. Starting from the Municipality it is necessary to walk in the direction of the station, following via Italia and via Santa Maddalena for about 7 minutes. From the station, on the other hand, continue straight for 5 minutes. 
  • Timetables: always accessible
  • Ticket cost: Free

8 – National Autodrome

Known by all as the Monza ENI Circuit, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is nothing less than an international circuit located within a special area of ​​the Monza Park. Third oldest (permanent) racetrack in the world, it is the historic site of the Italian Grand Prix, an event that has been held there more than 80 times. From 1949 to 1968 it was also the seat of the Grand Prix of Nations of the World Championship. Opened in 1922, the circuit is about 6km long and has 11 curves of different inclinations.

  • How to get: to get to the racetrack, we recommend that you use your car (and leave it in the paid parking lot) or take bus 204 directly outside the train station. 
  • Timetables: every day, from 10.00 to 18.00
  • Ticket cost: admission is free. However, paid guided tours are also possible, but also track rides sitting next to a professional driver, bike rental, simulator rides, and other activities.
  • Recommended cards, tickets and tours:

9 – Park of Monza

It is one of the largest historical parks in Europe , among those enclosed by walls. Extending over 680 hectares north of Monza, between the municipalities of Villasanta, Biassono and Vedano al Lambro, this park was wanted and built during the 1800s by Napoleon’s stepson , a certain Eugenio di Beauharnais, as an extension of the Villa Reale and the green area surrounding the building. Today, the park is one of the largest green areas in northern Italy as well as a complex of great landscape-historical value, furthermore inside (in addition to the aforementioned National Autodrome) you can find a great variety of farmhouses, disused mills and installations. interesting (like the Giant Chair by Giancarlo Neri). If you want to take refuge for a few hours in the tranquility of nature, but also if you want to discover all the wonders hidden among the shrubs, this is the place for you!

  • How to get: to get to the park, it is necessary to use the car starting from the historic center (you can get there in about twenty minutes). Just outside the entrance, there is the very convenient Porta Monza Parking. 
  • Timetables: every day, from 7.00 to 19.00 (winter months), from 7.00 to 21.30 (summer months)
  • Ticket cost: Free
  • Recommended cards, tickets and tours:

10 – Villa Reale and Royal Gardens

The Villa Reale , or Royal Palace of Monza , finally, is one of the best known civil architecture of the city. Built under the rule of the Habsburgs as a symbol of prestige and magnificence, the Villa is a neoclassical building divided into three main bodies arranged in a U shape. The essentiality of the exterior is also reflected in the internal rooms (however, in the rooms of representation, in the rooms of Umberto I and Queen Margherita there are stuccos and decorations made by the masters of the Brera Academy). Around the Villa, moreover, the Royal Gardensthey are inspired by those of the Viennese palace of Schonbrunn and every year they host a flower competition organized by the Italian Rose Association. In the Villa, on the other hand, exhibitions and art exhibitions are frequently held.

  • How to get: to get to the Royal Villa we recommend that you use your car and leave it in the parking lots near the Monza Park. Alternatively, there are buses on the Z221 and Z208 lines that depart just outside the train station and stop near the main entrances to the Park and the Villa. 
  • Timetables: every day, from 10.00 to 19.00 (for the Royal Gardens the times vary: from 7.00 to 19.00 in the winter months, from 7.00 to 21.30 in the summer months)
  • Ticket cost: full € 10.00 reduced € 8.00

Monza itinerary in one day

Monza is a city that lends itself perfectly to being explored during a weekend, both for the beauty and concentration of its urban fabric and because it is not far from the main city centers of northern Italy, including Milan. For this reason, we propose an itinerary to follow in a single day to discover the most famous points of interest in the city.

MORNING : Our itinerary starts from the train station (to facilitate those arriving in the city by public transport). From here, head to the right towards the Lambro river: before diving into the historic center, in fact, we recommend a short detour to the Viscontea Tower, dating back to 1800. If, on the other hand, you are already dying of hunger, go directly to the center, stopping for breakfast at the Pasticceria Bona . After that, it’s time to move to the beating heart of the city, first aiming at the Civic Museums and the extraordinary collection of works contained therein, and then towards the nearby Piazza Duomo (with an adjoining visit to the Duomo of Monza , of course). From here, you can then lengthen the road by a few meters passing through the beautiful Piazza Trento e Trieste or cut straight towards the Arengario . From here, it will be quite easy to find the famous Bridge of Lions: just take via Vittorio Emanuele II to the river.

AFTERNOON : Since it is time for lunch, we advise you to stop at the Vineria dei Tintori , a few steps from the Ponte dei Leoni and the Lambro river. It is an excellent wine bar offering simple but delicious dishes, which is also open for lunch on the occasion of the weekend (during the week only from 6.00 pm onwards). After lunch, it’s time to leave the historic center behind and reach the beautiful Monza Park by car or public transport. The park lends itself to many activities, also inside you can choose whether to pay a visit to the Royal Villa and its gardens or to go as far as the National Autodrome(especially if you are a huge Ferrari fan!). Finally, for dinner, stop and eat at the Derby Grill restaurant , just outside the gates of Villa Reale.

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at Pasticceria Bona
  2. Torre Viscontea – opening hours: always accessible – ticket price: free
  3. Civic Museums – opening hours: from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00 (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) – ticket price: full € 6.00 reduced € 4.00
  4. Duomo and Piazza Duomo – opening hours: every day, from 9:00 to 19:00 – ticket price: admission to the Duomo is free, but admission to the Treasury Museum and the Teodolinda Chapel costs € 8.00 full price / € 6.00 reduced
  5. Piazza Trento and Trieste – opening hours: always accessible – ticket price: free
  6. Arengario – opening hours: the opening hours to the Palace, as well as the costs, depend on the exhibitions / cultural events that take place there in a particular period
  7. Ponte dei Leoni – opening hours: always accessible – ticket price: free
  8. Lunch at Vineria dei Tintori. 
  9. Monza Park, Villa Reale, National Autodrome – opening hours: every day, from 7.00 to 19.00 (winter months), from 7.00 to 21.30 (summer months) – ticket price: free access to the Park and the Autodrome (full € 10.00 reduced € 8.00 for the Villa Reale)
  10. Dinner at Derby Grill 

Where to eat in Monza

  • Il Moro : restaurant inspired by Sicilian cuisine, elegant setting and high quality raw materials
    Average price per person: € 40.00
    Address and contacts: via Parravicini, 44 
  • Derby Grill : restaurant specializing in typical dishes of the Monza tradition with insertions of Neapolitan origin
    Average price per person: € 45.00 / 50.00
    Address and contacts: via Cesare Battisti, 1 
  • Atmosphere Restaurant : Mediterranean cuisine restaurant with options for vegans and celiacs and an excellent wine list
    Average price per person: € 40.00
    Address and contacts: viale Elvezia 
  • Vineria dei Tintori : ideal wine bar for aperitifs and light lunches overlooking the Lambro River
    Average price per person: € 20.00
    Address and contacts: viale Gerardo dei Tintori, 2 

What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and the best clubs

Monza is a city where clubs of all kinds abound, suitable both for those who want nothing more than to sit in a pub in front of a good mug of beer in the company of friends, and for those who love to dance and frolic all night long. The nightlife area par excellence is concentrated in the historic center , in particular the districts with the highest concentration of clubs are San Biagio and San Gottardo , but also San Carlo . Below, we have selected three places among all that we consider truly unmissable if you are in town on a Saturday night.

  • Whatever : local specialized in molecular drinks / Address: via Bergamo, 22 
  • Antica Birreria : British-style pub in the heart of the city, with a large selection of craft beers / Address: via Dante Alighieri, 6 
  • Movida experience : cult disco of the place, with a wide choice from house music to the Caribbean rhythms of Salsa / Address: via Sicilia, 64 

Plan your stay in Monza: info and useful tips

  • How to get: The closest airports to Monza are Linate (18km), Bergamo Orio al Serio (47km) and Malpensa (60km). From the three stopovers, we then advise you to reach the train station of the respective cities (usually reachable by bus, shuttle or metro) and then take a train towards Monza. The Monza railway station is well connected to Milan and the other main cities of Lombardy. From Milan there are several trains in the direction of Monza, the most convenient one leaves from Garibaldi station.The ticket costs about € 3.00 and the journey takes about 20 minutes.
  • How to get around : to visit Monza at its best, we suggest you wear comfortable shoes and get ready to take a nice walk around the center, perfectly suitable for pedestrians.
  • Where to park : if you do not have the possibility to leave your car in the car park of the hotel or structure where you are staying, we suggest you park it in Porta Castello , the paid parking near the train station (fare € 1.00 per hour), or at the Corso Milano car park , near the Central Post Office (hourly rate € 0.50). Finally, also in Porta Monza  there is a paid parking, with a single daily rate of € 1.50, ideal for those who want to take a ride inside the famous Park of Monza.
  • Where to sleep
  • What to see in the surrounding area : Milan (18km), Como (41km), Lecco (41km), Resegone (80km) Bergamo (43km), Varese (67km), Lodi (50km), Crema (57km), Lake Como (80km) , Lake Maggiore (96km), Novara (60km), Valle Ticino Natural Park (61km), Morimondo (49km), Pavia (68km), Lake Iseo (88km), Brescia (92km), Parco delle Alpi Orobie (80km)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to see in Mantua: the 13 best attractions and things to do

Pavia: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening