A Travellerspoint blog

4. The Vacation Begins

...with travel complete...

Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Sunday, April 9, 2017

We grab a newspaper as we board BA 576, an Airbus 319 from Heathrow to Milan Linate. a9da44a0-2e40-11ea-a3c7-a913fa34bebd.jpga9d33fc0-2e40-11ea-9cd3-858dd1cfac62.jpg

B4 has a fascination for British Royals and there is a big article about Prince Charles. As she sours it, I gaze at the terrain beneath us; first France, then Switzerland and finally Northern Italy.
There are two airports that serve Milan, Italy. Linate, where we land and Malpensa, from which we will depart a week from now. Linate is tiny; like one in a medium to small town in America. The line for immigration is almost rural. The immigration officers are friendly. A child escapes her mother and runs through the immigration checkpoint and everyone laughs while the agent waves the distraught mom by so she can corral her wayward three-year-old.

We have only carry on bags. We stroll through customs where the uniformed guard cares not one bit.


Our driver is Luca Benassi and he awaits us outside customs. His English is as polished as is our Italian but we understand each other well enough. Ushered to his brand new black Mercedes with its gigantic Tesla-like electronic dashboard and GPS map system, we leave for our just-over-an-hour drive to Parma on a road that would make US government infrastructure planners drool. The far left lane is reserved for those who want to drive very fast--a Panamera zooms by with its spoiler proudly engaged. We spend our time in the center lane while lorries and pensioners occupy the far right.
B4 is asleep before we have driven for five minutes; I follow her lead twenty minutes later.

The town of Parma is, as we drive in, unremarkable. So, too, is the Hotel De La Ville, its five-star placard notwithstanding. Check in is efficient, the bellman is at the ready and our room is small, spartan and clean. I can't figure out how to work the light at the front door but I will solve that problem later as B4 wants to nap and I want to jot these few words.

Posted by paulej4 08:06 Archived in Italy

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