Day 1 in Italy – From Milan to Florence

Day 1 in Italy – From Milan to Florence

The Duomo in Florence, Italy

I decided to take the bus from Milan’s Malpensa Airport to Milano Centrale, the main train station in Milan.  I have taken the bus a number of times and though the trip is long it is no longer than a taxi and much cheaper, especially for a single traveler.

You buy your bus ticket at a counter in the lobby after going through customs.   In all the times I have gone through customs in Milan I don’t think it has ever taken me more than 15 or 20 minutes compared with my return trip in Atlanta where it often takes 45 minutes to an hour to get through customs.  That was just an aside……

The bus ticket cost 7.5€ (in 2011). You exit through Door 4 of the lobby where you will see several full size buses.  Make sure you tell the ticket collector that you are going to Milano Centrale so you can be sure of getting on the right bus.  He will take your ticket, I have never had a she take my ticket, stamp your ticket several times for mysterious reasons since no one will look at your ticket again, shove your luggage in the baggage compartment under the bus, get on the bus and off you go.   Make sure you take anything that is valuable or breakable with you on the bus because there is a lot of tossing and moving of luggage and it can be a free for all when you go to get it at the other end.

It is a full size, very comfortable bus.  You can sit back, relax listen to the Pink Floyd and Cindy Lauper playing on the radio and enjoy your first views of Italy which unfortunately are of the autostrada.  This falls into the category of seen one interstate seen them all, only in this case the signs are in Italian so at least you can start thinking in Italian.

The bus takes about 45 minutes if there is minimal traffic and closer to an hour if you get stuck in rush hour.   About a third of the trip is on the autostrada, the rest is through the city. When the bus arrives in Milan I always think we are there and start to prepare to get off the bus, only to remember that we still have a lot of small, winding, car choked streets to traverse before we get to the train station.

Enjoy the ride, you have a busy day ahead of you.

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