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Which to fly into....Milan or Rome?

Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:21 AM
  #1  
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Which to fly into....Milan or Rome?

We are a family of four and one member does not do well flying. When we fly into Italy from North America next fall (2015) which airport is better, stress-wise, Milan or Rome? Where we go after that is not a factor as we have private arrangements and we can use either airport. We will not be staying in either city. I am only interested in the experience at both airports in terms of immigration checks, baggage collection, availability of nearby hotels for a possible rest up day for one of the family members and whether there is a train station situated at the airport such as what's available at London Gatwick or Frankfurt International.

If anyone has any experience in using both airports and can compare the two, that would be great. Again, we are not staying in either city so we are not interested in transportation to downtown hotels or sightseeing. Also, we will not be flying out of either airport so I don't need any info regarding getting to the airport. Thanks and I am posting this on the Air Travel forum as well.

Happy travels!
Dale
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:32 AM
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I find Rome to be so busy it can be chaotic at times.

But,MXP in MIlan is actually 30 miles outside of town and does have some local hotels with shuttle services. We have used the Hotel First twic and liked it.

I would pick Milan, but surely the connections from your departurs city must be a factor.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:52 AM
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I too have experience with both and would also choose Milano as a more "user-friendly" airport. It is much smaller, less chaotic, things within the airport are much closer to each other and so you don't feel like you are almost walking back home by the time you get to where you need to go (car rental, etc.).
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Thanks guys - this is exactly what I needed. I have been to Rome before but at the smaller airport (Ryanair) and had no idea what FCO is like. Since we can use either, we will probably pick Milan. Sounds like it might be easier on the family, especially the nearby hotels. Will check out the First One recommendation for sure. Again, thanks!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:39 PM
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It's the First Hotel. They have a very convenient shuttle to/from the airport.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 01:37 PM
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FCO is also far outside of Rome. I have no idea why that would make a difference.

I highly recommend you not stay at an airport hotel if someone in your party is so uncomfortable with flying they don't even like airports. But if for some reason you feel must, then do not stay at an airport hotel that uses a shuttle service. They can be unreliable and do very annoying time-consuming milk runs to get to the terminals. Stay at the Sheraton at the airport in Malpensa or the Hilton in FCO where you can walk to the terminals.

But it is actually easier to stay in the cities and avoid the whole depressing atmosphere of the airport. In Milan, it couldn't be simpler to get to the airport from any number of nice hotels near terrific restaurants. Ditto in Rome, where a taxi service to the airport for 4 of your will cost less than taking the train out there.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 01:44 PM
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Just to be clear:

If you want to get off the plane at the airport and to immediately to a hotel, you need to check if any hotel will accept you before noon. If that is not an issue, most of the hotels near Malpensa or FCO are only °near° -- and not that near. If you rely on the free shuttles to get you to them, you are likely to be standing a long time outside the terminals on little traffic islands trying to spot your hotel's shuttles as it goes round and round the terminal tracks in the midst of a lot of traffic.

So you will probably need a taxi for the sake of your family member's peace of mind. It will not be cheap. The next day, in order to get on with your trip to wherever you actually going, you will either need a pricey taxi transfer to the central train station of Rome or Milan, or you will need another taxi to take you BACK to the unpleasant hyperbusy airport so you can get on with your trip.

I highly recommend that you get off the plane and go to a hotel conveniently near the central train station you will need the following day. And make sure you have booked a hotel that will let you into the room if you need it in the morning.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 03:43 PM
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Thanks again guys and like I said, I am just looking at some comparisons between the two airports. Looks like Milan might be the better of the two. Appreciate the responses!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Gosh, it seems so difficult maybe you should just forget it.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:06 PM
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Bob,

When, if ever, have you actually gotten off a plane in Malpensa and gone directly to any airport hotel by shuttle? Have you ever arrived at FCO in the morning and gone to a hotel to rest? I'll bet it is just one more thing in Italy you have never done yet blithely advise other people to do as if you knew what you were talking about, and then come back and try to make fun of other posters who are trying to correct the information for the benefit of the person who will actually be doing the traveling and asked for help.

I actually have done flown into Malpensa many times and gone directly to hotels. Once I tried to use the airport shuttles to get to the hotels and it was a terrible wait in lousy weather exposed to the elements.

If you actually have some personal experience to relate regarding this that would improve on what she's been told, it would of course be nice if you posted it. But sending people to a hotel that you have only used on departure, and even then not pointing out that there are hotels much more convenient when you are getting off the plane than the First Hotel, doesn't get the OP any closer to a better trip.

As always, I am stunned that an alleged °travel consultant° for Italy doesn't seem to know that FCO isn't in the center of Rome, but by the seaside. How many times have you been there?
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 11:27 PM
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Grammie Dale,

If you need a hotel room on arrival because you are traveling with someone with needs that go beyond merely being a nervous, stress-prone flyer who needs a nap, then you should arrange for a car transfer to the hotel. At either Malpensa or FCO, the business of trying to utilize a free hotel shuttle from the terminals to the hotel can be chaotic and confusing. If everyone is sufficiently mobile and can walk with luggage, then staying at the Sheraton at Malpensa or the Hilton at FCO is optimal, since they are at the airport itself. If you end up booking outside the airport, take a taxi.

Also realize that all airport hotels will pretty much strand everybody in your party when it comes to services and anything outside the hotel doors. There are quiet small towns within reasonable taxi reach of both Malpensa and FCO that have tranquil streets for strolls and cafes if people would like that but not the intensity of Milan or Rome proper. For Malpensa, which is the smaller airport, a taxi transfer to a lakeside town on Lago Maggiore could be very relaxing for everybody. For Rome, the beachside town of Fregene could work.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2014, 05:50 AM
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Again, my thanks and I am no fan of airport shuttles either. We can use either airport and I was just looking for opinions on both as to which was less stressful. BTW - I've been a member of this forum for over 11 years and I am an experienced European traveler. Unfortunately, this family member needs a lot of handholding and is easily overwhelmed. Right now, I'm thinking Milan is the better choice, but I have lots of time to get this worked out. Have a great day everyone.
Dale
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Old Aug 22nd, 2014, 07:37 AM
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And the claws come out, the hissing begins. I do hope, GrammieDale, you can read past the resident expert's personal vendettas and make some use of the advice given. Good luck with the trip planning.
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