Nikola Frates is a Senior Flight Attendant and has lived in Italy for 15 years. Not just anywhere in Italy, in the fashion metropolis Milan. The friendly flight attendant wrote a report for the myAustrianBlog.
“At first, we’re flying Vienna-Milan-Vienna-Milan, and afterwards my colleagues and I will make the best out of the limited amount of time we have. Tomorrow morning we’re on our way back to Vienna. But before that I’ll show the crew my favourite places: A little bit of sightseeing, a little bit of shopping and a delicious dinner with a typical Milanese Aperitivo!”
We begin our working day with a briefing about our flight to Milan, and already we’re looking forward to today’s trip to Bella Italia. One quick coffee break and it’s time to go: with the security check, then the trip by bus to the aircraft, emergency equipment check, any preparatory work necessary in the galleys and the cabin. Boarding begins, and I make the Welcome Announcement.
The whole team is incredibly relaxed, and the good mood is soon transferred to all the guests. We’re flying there in absolutely amazing weather, and after the service we begin with the approach. We’ve all been to Milan many times in the past, of course, but are still totally excited after landing – a day together in the fashion capital doesn’t happen just every day, after all!
After we’ve left Malpensa Airport and arrived at our hotel, our evening of celebrations begins. A quick shower later, and we’re sitting on the Malpensa Express heading for Milan city centre! All the members of the team describe their personal experiences and favourite spots in Milan. After 40 minutes on the train we’ve reached our destination, Cadorna station.
We get off at Duomo station and enter the Piazza del Duomo. The cathedral is a perfect example for the extraordinary Italian architecture. Very interesting for tourists: You can walk on the roof of the cathedral. After walking up 200 steps you have a breath-taking view over the whole of Milan. A must-see for travellers with more time than we have.
Next to the cathedral we find the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, named after the “unifier of Italy” and king Victor Emanuel II – another landmark. The arcade was built in 1867 and is rife with splendour. Gebaut wurde es bereits 1867 und strotzt nur so von Prunk. Marble, stucco, frescoes everywhere. We’re impressed by the exclusive atmosphere. As well as Louis Vuitton and Prada, the Galleria is home to marvellous bars and restaurants, making it the perfect space to take some highly civilised time out. The octagonal central place in the Galleria, the Ottagono, is called Milan’s living room. The Italians love to take a break for coffee here and enjoy the colourful hustle and bustle. Look out for the mosaic floor! In the center of the Ottagono you see the coat of arms of the Savoyard house: Turning your heel here is supposed to bring you luck!
We decide to start with the first (of our many) caffè italiani of the day, before continuing our walk through the city centre. By now we’re getting somewhat wistful as we walk past the brightest stars in the international fashion heavens: Céline, Valentino, Malo, Armani, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana….We stay strong, however, and don’t spend a small fortune.
Rather than going shopping at Dolce & Gabbana, however, we go there to get a bite to eat! Yes, to eat: The bistrot at Corso Venezia is inviting, and has a decided touch of elegance about it. Everyone is satisfied, and we stroll enthusiastically through some of the loveliest nooks and crannies Milan has to offer.
“I can only recommend taking your time and letting the city and its atmosphere sink in. Yes, here are a lot of exclusive shops, but many tourists forget to pay attention to the beautiful courtyards and alleys.”
The final stopping-off point on our tour is the Romanesque Church of San Babila. Said to have been constructed back in 1095, the building was extended in the 16th Century, as a result of which it is reminiscent of the Baroque period, despite its age. Make the time to view the church from the inside – it really is a dream!
Over the next week, you’ll be able to find out how our day-trip to Milan came to an end. If you think you might be interested in exploring the fashion metropolis and wandering its back alleys for a few days, just click here to book directly: