Monza is a famous name, but the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza is actually better known as a racetrack than as a city.
The Formula One Italian Grand Prix has been held at Monza since 1950, so it is no surprise that the name is synonymous with Italian motor racing. But this city is much more than just a racetrack – it’s a worth a visit on its own.
Pretty architecture, varied cuisine and a pleasant pedestrianised city centre make Monza increasingly popular on the Lombardy tourist trail.
Things to do in Monza
Of course the truly famous aspect of Monza is its racetrack. This is known as Autodromo Nazionale and (unsurprisingly) the city does get much busier when the Grand Prix takes place, which is usually in September. Throughout the rest of the year, however, it should be noted that it is often possible to visit the track, and even drive on it. If you are thinking of doing this, it’s worth looking into the right day as the track does host a range of events, so it isn’t always possible to just turn up and drive.
For those interested in the culture and history of the city there is a huge range of attractions to see including the Duomo (or Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista) originally built in 595. The famous Parco di Monza is also worth visiting – it’s the largest enclosed park in Europe, and it contains the aforementioned racetrack, as well as some lovely natural sights.
Malpensa Airport is the major transport hub for those interested in visiting Monza. Once you have flown in you have a few options in terms of getting from the airport to the city. Monza is slightly to the north-east of Milan, while Malpensa is over to the west. If you are hiring a car at the airport you can simply take the route down the E62 and then across to the E64, following it up to Monza – the drive will take around an hour.
There are alternatives – if you can’t or don’t want to drive it is simple enough to take a taxi, train or bus into Milan where you can catch further public transport on to Monza. The city is well-connected to Milan, so this is quite simple.