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A few tips from on the ground

Hi all,
This group has been incredibly helpful so I thought I might give back.

1)We just left Milano after 3 nights. It is HOT. It is pretty packed around the Duomo and Galleria. Other places like the Sforza castle had plenty of tourists but felt normal (even yesterday when the museums were free).

2) We arrived on the Bernina Express (from Tirano). Since from Tirano it’s a regional train, we waited to buy tickets day of. The day before we found out that train was suspended until September because of track work. So they substituted a bus to Colico followed by a train to Milano. Man in seat 61 says the same thing that Trenitalia app offered (2:50 pm bus/train substitutes 1:08 pm train. There were people who has 2:29 pm bus tickets so you may want to check Trenord site. Plan accordingly though because you arrive two hours later than originally planned in Milano.

3) There will be a taxi strike tomorrow in Milano (not sure if it will also happen in other cities). The hotel concierge was giving people instructions on how to use the metro and trains to get to the airport. He mentioned another taxi strike later in July, so keep this in mind. Again, other cities may join.

5) Check your restaurant bills and when in doubt ordering, ask. On the first restaurant we went to I asked for the Cotoletta a la Milanesa. They brought it with potatoes (which I did not ask for) so I assumed the dish came with them. Well I was charged 5€ for them. If I had known, I would have chosen another contorno. At another place husband and son ordered each a pasta dish and then a main to share. They specified they were sharing. They were brought and charged two dishes. So buyer beware. The last place we went to we walked quite a bit, but a world of difference.

6) Face masks required on trains and they have to be N95 (or similar).

Hope this helps future travelers.

Posted by
6370 posts

Thanks for the tips, tmalave. Have you checked out the duomo museum? It’s well worth some time.

Posted by
792 posts

I was just informed there is also going to be a taxi strike in Naples on July 5th & 6th.

Posted by
837 posts

The shenanigans with the restaurant meals is frankly, BS. And again, quite frankly, if it happened in NYC it would be thought of in a hugely different way than if it happens in Italy. Because of the romance of Italy, they seem to get away with plenty of egregious things that would sound an alarm in other countries.

Posted by
3812 posts

A traditional cotoletta with no side dish is unheard of and 99% of local customers ask for potatoes with the Milanese version. When waiters have many tables they just don't waste much time with customers speaking a foreign language. You do what's ok 9 times out of 10 and keep on working.

Incidentally, you don't "specify" you are sharing, you say something polite like: "Is it ok if we share?" In Italian, if you want to be sure they agree.

Posted by
3621 posts

Having experienced many of the shenanigans indulged in by Italian restaurant personnel, I’m not justifying what happened to you. However, I will just add that in many American restaurants a fee is added if you wish to share a dish.