Around Northern Italy in a Fiat Panda

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The Contessa and the Commendatore Visit the Home Country

Sunday Oct. 7: Home ⇒ Milano

food & lodging

Food & lodging notes

We left in good order. The cats had been delivered to AAndorra Kennels the day before without any fuss. We had paid all bills and had eaten our way to the bottom of the refrigerator so that there wouldn’t be any nasty surprises when we returned. The airport limo was on time and we arrived at Logan in plenty of time to change some money.

We hopped to JFK (picking up a bad tip from a flight attendant) and met Alice’s mother and brother in the terminal by prearrangement. The TWA flight for Milan departed late and in a manner that was like a foretaste of an Italian airport. Security checks were dragging on, but there were no announcements of any kind, regarding boarding or departure or anything else. After a while people just sort of began melting from the milling crowd down the gangway and onto the plane. We joined them.

There is no glamour in overnight air travel but the flight was smooth and the food mostly harmless. We got some good tips from our seat-mate, who was going to Milano for the Spring fashion shows. As dawn broke we could see the Alps in all their snowy wonder, a splendid sight.

We landed at Malpensa airport and disembarked onto the airfield. We were some distance from the terminal. Walking down the ramp onto the macadam gives a stronger feeling of travel and change than walking though the covered ramp from plane to terminal.

There were police watching as we disembarked. They looked military, dressed in khaki uniforms (see footnote 1) and carrying automatic weapons. (This gave a bit of a jolt… in America it’s only the criminals who carry automatic weapons.) So, OK, they take their airport security seriously, fine with me…

We were however well prepared with travel books that covered the usual matters of sights, history, and touring.