Ride the Peter Witt Streetcars
Ok, I am certain that nearly no one in Italy knows what a "Peter Wit," streetcar is. However in Milan they still have the largest number of Peter Wit streetcars serving the area around the Duomo and the La Scala Opera. Their characteristic orange/yellow color is very eye catching and apparently the color has remained unchanged throughout the years.
These streetcars were named for Peter Wit a Cleveland engineer who designed these streetcars back in the mid 1920's. The concept was to speed loading have the conductor operate the vehicle from the middle of the tram as opposed to the front. These street cars were popular in fifteen U.S. cities, four Italian cities and a few other isolated areas.
Milan built nearly 500 of these street cars beginning in 1928 to serve the city. Today they continue to operate non-stop from their beginnings in 1928. Many of the street cars have been modified however and now have the conductor up front. A ride on the street car is 2 euros if I recall.
Recently the City of San Francisco purchased 11 of Milan's Peter Wit Street cars for addition to their fleet of street cars. Some of the street cars will run along the Embarcadero and the others along Market Street.
Avis - Linate Airport
Rent a car in Italy, especially on holiday could be tricky.
1. only airport car rental offices are open
2. book in advance, no booking services at desk
3. mostly manual transition, automatic is much more expensive
4. try to return the car to the same place, drop off fee of a different location could be much more expensive even than the car's daily rate!
5. require international drivers' license
I rent Fiat Panda manual for 24 hrs cost me EURO 200!!Related to:
- Business Travel
Walking in Milan
I must say that I had imagined the distances in Milan much bigger than they actually were. I had ordered a map before our trip, so we had a map with us right from our first morning, but even on the map things looked bigger to me. Sometimes we were amazed that we ended up somewhere where we had been before - for example on our last day, when we visited Corso Magenta and took a wrong turn, and suddenly ended up at Sant' Ambrogio where we had been three days earlier! We then wanted to walk to Castello Sforzesco and somehow I expected it to be quite a walk, but we were there in no time!
The downside of walking in Milan is the heavy traffic, sometimes it can be quite tricky to cross a street, but altogether we had no problems and there are plenty of traffic lights where pedestrians can cross the streets.
We arrived in Milano Centrale by train from Zurich (Switzerland). After I had left home I realised that I had forgotten to bring my hairbrush and my comb. So we arrived just around 10 pm on a Saturday evening and someone in our train compartment told me the Italian words for comb (petine) and brush (spazzola).
There was still a kind of souvenir etc. shop open and I went to the counter and asked for a petine and sure enough they helpful people opened a drawer and asked whether I needed a petine or a spazzola and even gave me the choice for 2 brushes at around Euro 3.50 a piece. The essence of the story don't give up and just ask! I would never have guessed that this type of shop would carry such items.
Travelling back home 2 weeks later, I arrived in Milano Centrale again and had to buy a ticket to Switzerland. Basically you can do this at the ticket machines but since I have a half-fare card for Siwtzerland I needed the ticket office.
If you intend to use the ticket office, be prepared to line up for half an hour or thereabouts! This is after you searched for it for 10 minutes or so! Well you will find it downstairs hidden away.
Same goes for the toilets. There are signs that send you all over the place and when you finally find the well hidden toilets you need to have the right coins to pass the turnstile. It costs Euro 1.00, so don't bring anything bigger than a 1 Euro coin. Good luck!
Another thing that sent me into despair was the sandwich/drink shop. You cannot just point to want you want and pay for it. They will send you to the cashier to the other end first. Pressed for time and not having an idea of the name of the thing I wanted, I gave up.
If you need a bus to the airport, then leave the station to your left. There is a bus to Malpensa for Euro 10.00 and other buses.
So have fun in the Milano Centrale station :-)
To the city from the airport by train
The cost of one-way ticket from/to Malpensa Airport/city main train station is Euro 10. There are ticketing machines but they require credit cards (they do not accept cash). For Euro 10 or 20, I do not want to use my credit cards. The queues are quite long. I recommend that you buy your return ticket when you purchase your onward ticket to save time. Do not forget to validate your ticket before boarding the train!
Transportation from the airport to Milan
No, the 23:56 schedule I provided was for the Malpensa Express TRAIN and not the bus! The buses only run until 20:00 to 22:00 hours depending on the bus line company.
The first web link that "leics" provided for the bus schedule shows an earlier time frame for their last departure, but the last web link (http://ticketonline.malpensashuttle.it/) does show the last departure as 00:15-00:25 for the two MXP airport terminals.
I haven't checked the full train schedule because I really don't endorse the airport-central station train, but in this case, it's the only option for the OP, so I'm glad that there is a later train other than the 23:56 one that showed up in my screen.
Anyway, to the OP, the Milan subway/metro is only operational until midnight (around 00:15 hours), so even if you take the 1 am train to Milan, you still need to take a taxi to go to Hotel Bristol. Another option is to take the Radio Bus service, which operates from 20:00 to 02:00 that may take you to the hotel by pre-booking by phone at 02.4803.4803 (Cost is around €3). For further info on this service, call 800.808181. You can also have your hotel reserve this for you in advance.
Good Luck Again & Enjoy Milan!Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Rental cars from Milan Malpensa airport
I have a number of times flown into Milan Malpensa as gotten the best deals on flights into the area and then had a car booked via www.auto-europe.co.uk - they subcontract to europcar in Italy which has an office just there at the airport terminal and its always worked well - the freeway in various directions are close by and there are a number of lovely areas to head for, whether you want to go up to Lakes Maggiore and Como and Garda - up to Ticino even and yes over to Bergamo - done a number of trips and places this way - not only cheaper but just being so more time and cost efficient to have a rental car
If its not Malpensa airport that youre flying into you will see on the auto-europe website their location choices which usually include all airports and various addresses in Milan itself for pickup.
The Lonely Planet for Europe on a shoestring has just come out in a new edition which is excellent but I found the DK eyewitness guide excellent in combination for ideas of places to see up around Milan that werent in other guide books and especially with lots of photos and small maps to inspire its an excellent book to have for Italy.
all the bestRelated to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Scooters, scooters and more scooters
With gas prices being so high as well as fees and taxes which making driving/owning a car so expensive, the 2-wheel mode of transportation is very prevalent in Europe. Since Italy is the home of Piaggio (the parent company of Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, etc.) and also Ducati, we expected to see them all over the place. We did!!! I think we can learn a thing or two from the folks on the other side of the pond on how to reduce our reliance on petroleum.Related to:
Train between Malpensa Aeroporto & Milano Centrale
Before we traveled to Milano, we wanted to plan our transportation from the airport to the main train station in the city (Milano Centrale). So based on information from VT as well as doing our own research, we found that we could take the Malpensa Express between the two locations. After going thru customs and collecting our bags, we followed the signs to the ticket window where we paid € 7,00 (per person) for the 48 minute ride to Centrale. Nice, modern, comfortable and convenient are the words I'll use to describe the experience.
***Please note that you can also take the Malpensa Express into Milano Cadorna***Related to:
- Family Travel
MJ Service, limousine service Milan
MJ Service is a well known company providing limousine service in Milan. They're located near Milan Malpensa airport and after 3 services for my friends we should say they're very good. First it's a good solution to travel Milan but also to get to other cities in northern Italy (like Venice!) or outlets (Serravalle is great!). Mr. Manganiello (service manager) is very kind and he was also a good guide to help my friends planning their visit to Milan and northern Italy. Limousine service is not so expensive, Malpensa airport - Milan comes at 90 Euros indipendently from traffic or possible delays, and if you book service as a group, it gets very convenient (and much more reliable than italian means of transports!!)Related to:
- Business Travel
- Family Travel
From Malpensa Airport to Centrale Station
I thought that the Malpensa Express was the best way to go, but I found out the hard way. This "express" rail seemed to be a joke to me. It stopped every so often, and when it stopped, it completely stopped for a long time. It seemed to be the longest ride I've ever had for such a distance.
I strongly suggest you take the Malpensa shuttle bus. There are plenty of these buses that ply the Malpensa Airport (MXP) to Centrale Station route (and vice versa). The bus is not only a time saver, but also a real cost saver. I took the shuttle bus on my way back to MXP since I've already learned a hard lesson with Malpensa Express.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Buses To/From Malpensa
There are two main bus companies that go to Malpensa from Centrale airport; one is called the Malpensa Express (just like the train), and uses a big yellow bus and the other is Malpensa Shuttle Air Pullman, which is a white bus with a slogan "the cheapest way to reach Milano". The site with the time tables to the white bus is below (could not find for the yellow bus, sorry!)
They both take about an hour, unless they hit traffic, in which case it can take you even 6 hours to get to central station (happened to me when there was a big accident)!
They both leave approx. every twenty minutes. They arrive/depart on the left side of the central station.
You can buy the tickets on the bus (just before you get on). If you will be visiting with a group or will be visitng milan many different times, consider buying carnets/passes (or even just get them with other tourists to save some cash!):
The yellow bus charges €5.50 but has a 3 trip pass (valid always) for €11 (and there for €3.67 per tri). The white bus charges €4.50 per single trip, but has 5 trip carnet for €20 (each trip is €4).
Milan Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Discover Milan using two different tour routes! See all the main sights aboard an open-top double-decker bus and with 12 stops to choose from you can hop-on and hop-off all around the city.
You can hop-on and off as many times as you like aboard this open-top double-decker bus. The two tour routes are inter-connected so you can hop easily between them.
Discover Milan using two tour routes. Your ticket is valid on ALL routes.
The entire route takes 75 minutes. Buses departs every 75 minutes from each stop. Highlights include Sforzesco's Castle, Piazza Duomo and the Scala Theater
The entire route takes 90 minutes. Buses departs every 45 minutes from each stop. Highlights include Via Montenapoleone, the Cenacolo of Leonardo da Vinci, and much moreRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
At the beginning of 2008 the city of Milan astounded the world, or at least those people in the world who pay attention to this sort of thing, by instituting a congestion charge for motor vehicles.
Not that there's anything so unusual about a congestion charge. London has one, Stockholm has one, but nobody expected an auto-fixated city like Milan to adopt the idea. Conclusion: if even Milan admits to having a problem with too many cars and too much pollution, then there really is a problem. (So it's not just our imagination, OK?)
Most vehicles entering the 8-square-kilometer "eco-pass" area in the city center now have to pay between three and ten Euros, depending on where they come from and how filthy they are. This is enforced by cameras at 43 "electric gates" like the one in the photos.
Electric and hybrid cars are allowed to enter the congestion charge zone without payment, and residents get a discount.
According to the City Council, the new EcoPass system aims to reduce emissions in the city center by 30% and reduce the number of incoming cars by 10%, which they hope will also speed up public transport in the area. And they have promised to reinvest all EcoPass charges in "sustainable traffic and a sustainable environment", which means not only public transport but even bicycle lanes, so as to "build a more eco-friendly city for us and our children”.
Second photo: Close-up of an EcoPass sign.
Late night travel in Milano
After midnight Metro shuts down in Milano. If you don't want to use taxi and pay a lot of money, but you could only find your way referencing Metro stations, you can use the night bus following the Metro routes above ground. At that time they don't also check for tickets so it is free.
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