Milano - Italy
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
3 days in Milan!
I usually fly economy class but I always make sure I choose airlines that give me miles for my trip whenever possible. I 'm a Miles & More member of the Lufthansa group, that includes Brussels Airlines and many more, really it does pay to save airmiles!
Check what other things can get you more airmiles, personally I use an American Express credit card issued by Brussels Airlines and although it's pretty expensive ... it comes with insurance and it gives you airmiles on all your expenses, in the long run, it's not more expensive than a cheap card.
Use the same hotels all the time! Personally I 'm a Silver member at Accor hotels so whenever I need a hotel, I always check if there is an Accor hotel available, this group includes F1, Ibis, Mercure, Novotel, Sofitel and many more, as a silver member you usually get at least some advantage, welcome drink, upgrade, free night if you pay with points etc.
Transport! Check your transport needs before you fly, booking in advance is usually cheaper and avoids long waiting lines. Malpensa Airport is well connected with Milan Center by train when you use the Malpensa Express provided by Trenord, just buy your ticket at a ticket machine for 13 euro and your train will stop at Milano Central station.
Early in the morning … well halfway trough the night actually! 03:30am I ‘m leaving home to go to Brussels Airport where I go tot he Brussels Airlines business check-in, the process is very quick and in 2 minutes they print me my boarding pass and bagage label, they ask me if I know where the Business lounge is but of course I know where it is after almost 19 years working in aviation in Belgium. So by opening time of the lounge at 05:00am I ‘m getting myself some tea and setting up my laptop. The lounge is of course very well adapted to wait with some drinks and a small breakfast, I took a basic warm breakfast, there is bacon, beans with carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes, some bread and salads as well, over by the coffee machine there is also a tray of desserts. Good service overall.
By 05:50 I ‘m making my way to gate A68 and get priority boarding, I chose the first row in the plane som y seat is now 1A, window seat as usual and while I ‘m settling in on the Airbus A319 (OO-SSL) in the new Brussels Airlines colors, the captain announces that he expects some turbulence as it started to rain outside and the hot temperatures of the last few days makes this a warm rainstorm with some lightning here and there. The flight leaves exactly on time and while climbing out of the clouds there is some heavy turbulence as expected but it doesn’t last long and by now I ‘m used to it after so many short and long flights.
Once above the clouds in calm weather I ‘m getting served with breakfast, a simple complementary breakfast and some tea as well.
Before I know it, we have already arrived in Milan, after landing I made my way to the bagage collection on belt 1 and after a brief sanitary stop my bag is already on the belt and I ‘m walking trough terminal 1 of Milan Malpensa Airport, the terminal looks a bit worn and in need of a refurbishment but overall it’s pretty good. From the exit it’s a bit of a walk to the train station where I buy a 13 EURO ticket for the Malpensa Express that takes me to Milan Central Station. The station looks grand to say the least, it’s a typical monumental building with a covered archway where the trains arrive, I ‘m surprised at how little control there is, I could have easily cheated and gotten on the train without a ticket as nobody ever checked if I have one. Once outside the station in the hot weather I walked to the Ibis Milan Central hotel, specifically chosen for the location close to the station, I left my bagage in the hotel and went into the city on foot.
The first thing on my list is also the furthest point of interest I want to see on this trip, it’s the Science and Technology museum, where the bridge section … and I really mean a very big piece of the Italian ocean liner of 1925, the Conte Biancamano is on display, when the ship was broken up, they actually cut off this front bridge section with a few decks below and transported it all the way to Milan where they built this giant hall around it to become a display area for the maritime industry.
I walked into the area below the bridge and felt a bit strange as it really feels like you ‘re on an ocean liner but the rest of the ship is missing, there is a big model of the ship in a central display and the room decorations are still in place, this is really the big highlight of the museum! Of course there is more, there is a motorised sailing ship next to it, completely intact together with some airplanes on an upper level, a full size rocket and another airplane just behind a real submarine are outside and another hangar there is substantial collection of locomotives from steam to electric, some are open to see what the control cab is like. The rest of the museum is dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci and some more permanent and temporary displays about technology. By now I started to feel the weight of my legs and decided to walk back towards the Castello Sforzesco to ly down in the shade for a while, I was already awake since 03:00am so I was getting tired. After a little rest I decided to walk back to my hotel, Ibis Milano Centro, where I checked in, got a free welcome drink and finally organised my stuff and took a nap.
By the evening I was rested and went out again towards the station to get some evening photos and dinner, a traditional Italian pizza! That was the end of my first day.
This morning I was in no rush so I slept a bit longer than expected and finally went to breakfast downstairs, wich was a bit chaotic as it seemed to be the most crowded moment of the morning. Once I was ready to go out I started to make some walking videos of the city so I started my walk at Repubblica metro station and walked all the way to the Arco della Pace where the park behind the castle actually ends. I walked trough the park and trough the castle again towards the fountain in front of the main gate of the castle, got some drinks for the day as I ran out of water bottles in this hot weather, then continued towards the Duomo di Milano to end my day of filming. The walk took me trough most of the interesting locations of the city and although it was hot, there was plenty of shade on the sides of the roads as there are lanes with trees and covered walkways all around.
Once I walked trough the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and ended at the Duomo di Milano, probably the number one building on all the tourism publications of Milan, I stopped filming, took some last photos and found a nice restaurant to get some lunch/dinner and rest out, enjoy the view and relax … with a local mojito as well … I figured I deserved it! This was to be my last moment in the city center before returning to my hotel to take a shower and download my videofiles. I closed off this evening a classic Italian Tiramisu and a whisky.
Today was a day of travel, first things first … breakfast, this hotel offers a simple breakfast compared tos ome others I have stayed at but overall it’s ok, although busy. I had time this morning so I didn’t rush anything, got back to my room after breakfast and started to organise my stuff for the day, by 10.00 I had checked out of my hotel to walk back to the Central Train Station and get my ticket for the Malpensa Express, the train is the best connection between Milan and Malpensa Airport and at only 13 EUR it’s pretty cheap as well.
Once at the airport I left my big bag at the storage unit for 7 EUR for a whole day and walked from the Departures level over the bridge to the Volandia Aviation museum. This museum is one of the biggest I have ever visited and it has an enormous collection of items, ranging from hundreds of model airplanes to replicas of old Italian built airplanes to more modern jet fighters and passenger aircraft, there are several other displays about space travel, Italian cars and there is a place to get lunch, a limited but decent menu is offered, it took me several hours to fully visit all the diplays of this museum, a real recommendation when you ‘re in the area! As planned I had nothing else to do today so I took the time in the museum and walked back to terminal 1 of Malpensa Airport to get my bag back.
I tried to figure out the best way to get to my hotel but found out that public transport at Malpensa is limited to direct lines by train or bus to Milan city but not to the surrounding areas, so in the end I decided a taxi was the best way to get to my next hotel, the Ibis Milano Malpensa Aeroporto. I got another free welcome drink, went to my room and took a shower before spending some time on my laptop in the lobby. The hotel bistro was unfortunately closed … no idea why … so I looked around and found a good pizza place nearby, Mastro Pizza had very good pizzas at low prices, a really good local restaurant that focusses mostly on take-away but has enough space to eat in as well. As there is nothing else really to do in the area, I went back to my hotel, booked my transport for the next morning and went back to my room to rest and catch up with my writing work and photo downloads.
Day 4: Going back!
Well this morning my alarm clock woke me up a bit earlier than I felt comfortable with ... I 'm not an early riser! But I had no choice, I went down for breakfast at 05.45 and prepared my bags to check out and get my shuttle to Malpensa Airport at 06.30. Once in the terminal I could check-in immediately and 5 minutes later I was going through the priority lane for the security checkpoint. I went to the Lufthansa business lounge to relax with some tea and small snacks until boarding time. By 08.00 I went to the gate and boarded the Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 in Star Alliance colors (OO-SNC). Boarding and preparing for the flight went smooth, service was good as usual and once at cruising altitude I got my simple breakfast tray with yet another tea. By 10.00 I was at the bagage belts at Brussels Airport and by 11.00 I was on my way home from this short but nice trip.