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Last day in Italy- Cinque Terre to Malpensa.

Last day in Italy- Cinque Terre to Malpensa.

Oct 28th, 2009, 12:37 PM
  #1  
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Last day in Italy- Cinque Terre to Malpensa.

We are renting a villa in the Cinque Terre region for a week in May. We fly home the day after checkout. Our flight time from Malpensa is 1000. We will have a rental car. We are considering some options and I would like to have your suggestions.
a. Drop rental car at airport and take shuttle into Milan for the night. Return by shuttle in the am.
b. drive to a small, scenic town within a one hour drive of Malpensa and overnight there. Budget range is $200 or less. We would go higher for something really special. We will need two rooms.
c. drive to Malpensa area and stay at airport hotel. This would be a leisurely drive and we would gladly accept suggestions for stops along the way.

Thank you!
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 01:38 PM
  #2  
 
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We just flew back to the US from Malpensa a week ago. For our final day, we drove up to Lake Orta (from near Alba) and walked around Orta San Giulio for an hour or two. Then, we drove back south for about 45 minutes to Oleggio. We had a fabulous dinner at Il Gatto e La Volpe in Oleggio (the antipasti buffet has to be seen to be believed -- make reservations). Oleggio looked interesting, though it was dark and we didn't have time to explore.

We spent the night at the Ramada Inn (cost 125 euro/night). The hotel is only a few km from Il Gatto. The drive to Malpensa from the Ramada is very short (10-15 minutes) and on a road that doesn't have heavy traffic.

Weather can be iffy this time of year in the lake region, and it was cool and misty in Orta San Giulio the day we were there. Also, the town was almost deserted. Still worth visiting, IMO.

I haven't been to Milan, so I can't give any specific recommendations there. But, if you want to go there, could you return the car to a rental agency in town to prevent all the back and forth between the airport and hotel?
NoleNomad is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 01:58 PM
  #3  
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Thanks, NoleNomad. That is exactly the type of suggestion I was seeking. It does look just lovely and DH would love the antipasti buffet!
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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For a 10:00 flight you want to be at the airport by 0800 ad have your car returned befotre that. I would stay at Hotel First right at the airport in the village of Case Nuove. The trattoria next door is one of may favs in all of Italy. See Orta if you can--I love Orta--but stay at the airport.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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This past May we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Somma Lombardo. We got a very good rate on the internet, around 80€. From there we drove to Lake Maggiore and enjoyed an afternon exploring some of the towns on the Lake. We drove back to SL and turned in our rental car at MXP. Took the Hilton shuttle back to the hotel and later in the evening we walked into town for a wonderful meal. After searching the streets in Somma Lombardo and finding everything already closed, we finally stumbled upon a fabulous restaurant, Kykeon http://www.kykeon.it/index_file/home.htm. We were the only people in the small restaurant which also sold some food products. A young women served us fabulous food and wine. She did not speak English, but it really wasn't a problem.

We also had a 10 am flight (both this year and last) and got to MXP around 8 am which worked out fine for both times. The Hilton shuttle that will take u to MXP -- took maybe 10 minutes. U do need to book the shuttle in advance preferrable from the US to ensure u get the time u need. We also had this issue booking in advance at a Novotel at MXP that we stayed at in 2008. Was also a very nice hotel with great internet rates, but we didnt find any speical restaurants in the area of the hotel.
yestravel is offline  
Oct 28th, 2009, 04:54 PM
  #6  
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Thank you, bobthenavigator and yestravel. Those are great suggestions and very helpful.
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 01:54 PM
  #7  
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With apologies to all you helpful friends...plans got changed. USAIRWAYS has today terminated its PHL to MXP flights....so I am now routed through Florence.

Given the change of airports my other questions remain the same and I again welcome helpful suggestions.

The good news is that because I am flying on a partner airline (Luftansa) I was able to use my miles for business class.
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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What time is your flight? Have you been to Florence before?
Jean is offline  
Oct 29th, 2009, 05:51 PM
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Our flight is at 0800, Jean. I have been to Florence. It is a wonderful city.
cmcfong is offline  
Oct 30th, 2009, 01:24 PM
  #10  
 
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So, you have at least a 2-hour drive from CT to the Florence airport, and you'll need to return the car that afternoon/evening and probably spend the night near the airport.

You've been to Florence, but you didn't mention whether you've also seen Pisa and/or Lucca. I think either (or both) would be a logical stop on the way. If you have been to both, I suggest Montecatini Terme or Vinci. MT would be an easy stop. Vinci would add perhaps another 45-60 mins. to your drive. You could even stop at both if you got an early start.

There are a few decent hotels near the airport. I haven't stayed in any of them in several years.
Jean is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 10:09 AM
  #11  
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Thank you, Jean. You have been most helpful.
cmcfong is offline  

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