Italy Airfares? UP or Down? Plan Ahead

Last year I flew to Milan for a bike tour. Because of all the stuff I needed to bring, I had to have luggage in both directions,

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It was not a bad price, $488.00 from Miami, non stop. I spent about $60 for better seating so I could get off the plane quickly, and that was worth it.

 

This year my wife and I are traveling light, carry on only,

 

Basically the same flight with out the extras.  I purchased these tickets on Sept 20, and $389.00 Non Stop Round Trip from Miami is excellent. 

 

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Today that same ticket is $$$610.14.  That is a $120 increase, still not a bad price to Italy during the shoulder season.

Plan ahead and shop early when you see a good fare.   Use Google Flights, or Google Flight Matrix from ITA. Here is the link http://matrix.itasoftware.com

Keep track of prices and when you see a reasonable price, grab it.  In 2016 we flew to Florence vis Dusseldorf on Air Berlin (now defunct) and tickets were $900 each. Air Italy offers many deisitnations and origins. Miami, New York, San Fransico, Los Angeles. Check it out.  Keep in mind there are VERY low fares in Italy to other cities.  Alitalia is offering €39 one way fares from Milan to Catania, and €46 from Milan to Rome.  Compare a cost of $747 on Air Italy direct vs the $483 plus about $90 for the Milan to Palermo/Catania flights. 

 

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Air Italy and Miami Inewrnational

 

 

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Duomo, Milano

 

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Leonardo 500 | YesMilano Milan is Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the death of Leonardo

From http://www.yesmilano.it

Thing to do in Milan  Right now airfare to Milan is priced very low from mid September on.  

Vertical Gardens, Milan 2018 Greg Speck

 

 

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Leonardo 500 | YesMilano:

 

LEONARDO 500
19/02/2019
Milan is the city in which Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci lived the longest.

Milan is the city in which Leonardo da Vinci lived the longest. Leonardo arrived to Milan in 1482, at the service of the Duke Ludovico Sforza, and his presence left an indelible mark in the history and art of the city and of the whole territory of Lombardy.

For this reason, Milan celebrates the 500th anniversary since his death with a schedule of events that will take place over the course of nine months (May 2019 – January 2020), with the Castello Sforzesco at the heart of the programme. The project will involve institutions and public and private bodies, associations and societies throughout Lombardy that will work together to create a calendar of events that will be constantly updated.

 

 

YESMILANO is the brand dedicated to the promotion of the city of Milan and its calendar of international events

Here is the link to the entire schedule 

https://www.yesmilano.it/eventi/tutti-gli-eventi/leonardo-500

 

 

 

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Photo above from Yes Milano 

 

 

 

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Above photo by Greg Speck 2018 Il Cenacolo

Tickets to view Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper go on sale three months in advance and sell out quickly, although it’s sometimes possible to buy tickets closer to your visit. You may have to combine with a tour of multiple places and the cost will be much higher.  

Bargain Airfares To Italy

It s that time, lower airfares for fall travel. Just booked my fall trip for my wife and I. 

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Now is the time for searching the fares. My two tickets cost less than one several years ago. No baggage, but we travel light.

Try Google Flights, Momondo.com, and be flexible.  Use the flexible dates that can lower your trip quite a bit.

 

My flight is on AirItaly which I used last year and was very pleased with them.

 

Good hunting.

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Milan’s Stunning San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore – An American in Rome

My favorite travel blog about Italy is An American In Rome.  Natalie has been helping travelers to Rome for a number of years. But she does not stop there. Look at her pos on the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan.  I was fortunate to visit this amazing treasure at the end of September.  Her blog has some amazing photos and more information.  Here are some of my photos.  The art work is amazing. Go to the link at the bottom for Natalie’s great blog page on this church. 

 

 

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The depiction of the ark is beautiful. 

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Natalies blog link is below.

 

https://anamericaninrome.com/wp/2018/12/san-maurizio-al-monastero-maggiore-milan/

 

The Canals of The Navigli district Milan You Should Not Miss This Amazing Attraction

Everyone knows the canals of Venice.  A much smaller version that is a must see is in in Milano.The Navigli.    Once used for transportation, it is now an entertainment, art, and foodie attraction.  It really comes to life after dark, music seems to be everywhere.  Restaurants are along the canals and have aperitivo   dining. It varies from restaurant to restaurant, but you can enjoy yourself for less.  One light I stopped at a little wine bar near my hotel and sat down with a good glass of Italian red and snacked of chips, veggies, and crostini. My total tab was 1.50 Euros.

Here is a link to my Vimeo video of the Navigli 

https://vimeo.com/300588264

chips

 

 

 

 

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Restaurants abound in the area. Bars offer happy hour deals where you can nibble you way through dinner if you buy a drink or two. 

 

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Milano has a wonderful transportation network. 

Access to the Navigili district is easy to reach by tram or metro.

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I took the number 9 tram for a scenic and interesting ride. Exit at the Porta Ticinese stop and you can walk the entire district. 

Here is a link to the Things To Do In Milan web site and the page for the Navigili area. 

https://news.milanocard.it/navigli-district-milan-the-charming-canals-of-milano.html

I ate dinner at Locandina deii Navigli as I had to get my fill of Risotto Milanese. 

 

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Wandering Milano With Caterina

This was my third trip to Milan.  I wanted to see and do some different things.  Airbnb experiences helped me make the most of my time for a very reasonable price.  I had arrived in Milan only 5 hours ago, found my Airbnb and was headed over to where our small group would meet to see some of the unique sights that are not always on a guided tour. As I was walking around, I got a text saying they were ready to start and where was I. Seems I did not read the start time but the end time ……MENO MALE. I was just a block away so I got there on time.  It was a small group with only 4 people and Caterina, the guide.  Two were from Belgium and one from Great Britain. Once again the only American.Caterina

Caterina, our guide.

We  met near the public gardens (Indro Montanelli) for what would be a 2 1/2 hour walk. We would go from the old to the new. And some of the most ultra modern architecture with prices that would make Manhattan look like a bargin.

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One of the classic residences.

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Amazing art decorates the outside of these residences.

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Our vintage tram a great way to see any city at a slower pace.

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Some of the modern building with high price tags.

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A Tesla showroom.  No price tags.

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Piazza XXV Aprile – Porta Garibaldi

 

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I have visited Eataly in Rome and New York City. No I had a chance to roam the one in Milano.

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If only my local Publix in Florida would have some of these delicacies. Ho fame. 

 

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Search out Catalonia’s walking photo tour of Milano on Airbnb Experiences. Here is part of her description “The Neoclassic and Art nouveau district of Porta Venezia. A residential area that represents the true everyday life of the Milanese. The brand new, sparkling and luxurious GARIBALDI’s area which is our ending point where you can easily take subway, tram, train or taxi. CUSTOM EXPERIENCE: If you would like to participate in the experience but on a different time or day, write to me and if I can I will try to organize one with your availability.”  

Here is a link 

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/263117?euid=0af081a7-e582-7ee2-6cf1-0c7842fdc298

 

I Love Pasta And It Is Easy To Make

I was raised to love pasta. All kinds. I have never lost my taste and when I found a email from Airbnb about a pasta making class in Milano, I jumped on it. It was a 3 hour exploration of Italian cooking and a chance to make fresh pasta. Gianfranco holds the class in his apartment and it was a very relaxing setting. This was the second of my Airbnb activities that I have engaged in and it will not be my last. Gianfrano is a “personal chef from Palermo, Sicily, and the traditional Italian and Sicilian food is my speciality. I like making genuine homemade food, pasta, street food and dessert”.  He did not disappoint. Gianfranco served asiago   and parmesan cheese with olives and some Italian bread while we drank some delicious white wine by Corvo. He went over the process of make the pasta and discussed the two types of meals we would eat with it. 

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This is an easy relaxed time with everyone taking part in the pasta making.  Golden rule is 100 grams of flour and 1 egg.  You want a dry dough, not sticky.  When the dough is throughly mixed, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour. 

Roll it a bit to make a flat sheet and divide it into 4 pieces, Then roll it out to fit the pasta maker. Insert at the widest opening and gradually decrease the thickness till you achieve the desired thickness of your pasta. After that we hang it to dry slightly. 

 

Here is a link to the video of my experience.    

 

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Gianfranco our host and chef. 

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Pasta making machine. ( available on Amzaon $26 to $200 plus)

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Gianfranco with Maria and Maria who were also in the class.

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Eggplant for the pasta alla Norma.

 

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The basic pomidoro sauce for pasta alla norma. IMG 1432

Pasta drying before cooking. 

Buon appetito 

Look for Milan activities and search for “The Secret of Italian Cuisine” under cooking classes. 

Il Viaggio – The Trip

I just returned from an 12 day trip to Italy. I visited Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Padova, Vincenza, Venice, Lake Garda and several small villages which our bike our took us through. It was an amazing trip, but I learned a lesson. DON’T BOOK YOURSELF SOLID.  I had set up so many things withs dates and times that I forgot to live the Italian lifestyle and not rush.  None the less, it was an amazing trip. But I will remember for the next visit. IMG 1186

Pasta with ragu in a small ristorante in Milano. Off the beaten path, not crowded and a great meal. 

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The The Osteria The Full Moon

This was my first dinner in Milano, and you might like to visit this quiet southern Italian ristorante if you have time. Here is the address.  Via Lazzaro Palazzi 9, 20124 Milan, Italy.  If you have not guessed, I am a big fan of Southern Italian cooking and Sicilian Cooking. IMG 1190IMG 1292

 

Bikes are a way of life in Milano and most of italy.  The bike share cycles area all over. It is not uncommon to see some in a dress and high heels, or a business suit riding down the street. In Desenzano del Garda a young man was riding in the rain with an umbrella held high above his head… Sujch is the life of those who commute on a bicci!

The next post will include the Cenaclo and the Canal District.

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