Thursday, July 24

Traveler Advisory - Milan

Each time I take a trip, it seems there’s always something new to discover – and, I don’t mean just the cultural events! Here’s a taste of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Milan:

Milan’s luggage check – don’t tell Al Qaeda, but, while they’re still going through the ridiculous machinations of x-raying our bags, they’ve finally stopped the foolishness of making a photocopy of our i.d. cards, adding an extra 4 mins. per person to the already outrageous wait time.
They must have realized, in the event that one of us did choose to blow up the 500 bags (versus just blowing oneself up amidst thousands over on the platforms), the copies of our i.d.’s would probably be shredded, and, they’d never know whodunit anyway.
Meanwhile, all the poor souls who have the most need for a luggage check, due to their extra large and heavy bags – please know that they’re not accepted. They make you weigh your bags and they have to be under the 20kg cutoff point.

And while we’re in the luggage deposit, you better plan your time properly: don’t cut it close for pickup…you will miss your train. On the Sunday before holidays, they had only 1 person on duty handling drop offs, pickups and the cash register.

Milan’s Corso Garibaldi – This has turned into one big pedestrian mall, even though it’s still a bit tough to walk on the pavement. It’s wonderful to see Milan so vibrant, with so many cafés, restaurants and bars to choose from. We had a midnight Spanish feast outdoors, with all the great people-watching there was to go with it (especially if you like seeing fully grown women trying to look like 12 yr. old boys with new! extra large hooters...)

Public Transport/Time Ticketing – if visiting Milan, your best bet for moving around is taking the lovely (but noisy) trams, which I particulary like because they keep cell phone use to a minimum. There's always the great Metro subway lines (never mind the stops are about 100m away one from another)…I buy a 24 hr. ticket and ride it heavily (3 euro). Just be aware of line changes due to construction around town (and we haven’t even started the building projects for Expo 2015).
Keep in mind that the 75 min. tickets are good for only one trip on the subway. In Rome, note that the Biglietto Giornaliero (day ticket) is only good 'til midnight of that same day.

Driving in the Centro Città
-- After renting a cute little lowcost Smart car, I was probably hit with 245 euro in tickets roaming around the center. You’ll now find lots of parking places, because you’re not supposed to be there!!


Romerican said...

Actually the 75 min ticket in Rome is only good for ONE subway ride... when it comes to buses, you can use it for as many rides as you can cram into 75 min. Things are changing in Rome too. Another ex: you can no longer just stroll through subway turnstiles without a ticket either!

Anonymous said...

romerican is right. things are changing in rome. i have been taking the train to ostia lidio for years--and just this season they have put in turnstiles. and! a few days ago, there was a line-up of 4 controllers blocking the exit stiles. you couldn't leave the platform without showing your stamped ticket.
in any case, paying €1 for the 20 min ride to the beach is still a bargain.

Irreverent Italy said...

I'll correct the blog - grazie mille!

Anonymous said...

I've been successfully avoiding ALL of Milan's airports for years now :-) but doesn't everywhere x-ray bags? or is Milan doing an exxxxxtra ray? In Denver in March they x-rayed my wheelie case and decided the metal shafts for the handle were suspicious and held me up for 25 minutes! If Milan can produce something worse I am oh-so glad I am avoiding it.