Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tram by zoonabar

Transport around Milan

Milan has a diverse range of options for public transport and you’ll usually find a solution for where you want to go. Recently, a car levy to enter the city centre has been introduced and a lot of the revenue raised from this system has been allocated to improving the network, including eco- friendly buses and a bike sharing programme.

ATM is the Milanese transport company and they also have an English website. You can download a free train network map and a city map with all transport options except for the bicycles. They also have a journey planner and information about the smartphone apps available.

Milan underground by JohnSebThere are five transport options:

-       Underground

-       Tram

-       Bus

-       Train

-       Bike

On the Underground and platforms there are always city maps and some bus/tram stands have maps or at least details of the lines and stops on that particular line. Often there are displays advising how many minutes until the next train/bus/tram.

Tickets

You can buy tickets at the Underground station either from the machines or from the cashier, at newsagents or from parking meters.

Ticket options:

Standard “urban” ticket: 1.50€

This ticket is valid for 90 minutes although if you exit from the Underground gates you cannot take another Underground train. You can, though, if you continue your journey on a tram or bus.

Some stops are considered “extra” urban and the ticket will cost more. This is the case for visiting the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre where most of the major expos and trade exhibitions are held. This ticket will cost you 2.55€ one way or 5€ for a return.

Daily ticket: 4.50€

Valid for a whole 24 hours after validating.

2-day ticket: 8.25€

Valid for an entire 48 hours.

You just have to validate your ticket once although you will need to repeatedly use your ticket to enter and often exit the Underground or train. On the trams and buses this isn’t required.

Of course, there are many other ticket options designed to suit your requirements and all information is available online.

There is also a travel card which you can top up. It’s called “RIcaricaMi” and you can purchase it for 2.50€, including one standard ticket. Then you can use the machines or the newsagents to top it up with the tickets or pass you’d like.

The Underground

For efficiency, usually you can’t beat the Underground, particularly for travelling around the most central parts of the city centre.

The peak hours can be a little crowded, with the most difficult times being from 07.30 to 09.30 and in the evenings around 7pm. However, the frequency of trains during these times means that if one train is too crowded, another will only be a few minutes away.

On the downside, the Underground tends to slow its service after 9pm and only runs to just after midnight. It’s then replaced by a night bus service. Night bus stops will have a line number with an ‘N’ in front of it.

You can also download the night service map (only in Italian).

Tram

Trams in Milan by LHOONTrams represent a lovely insight into the past and Milan, like many European cities, still runs some very old ones. They may seem slow and noisy but they’re gloriously stylish inside.

Having said that, not all lines run these trams and many lines run modern or semi-modern trams. There are some excellent lines which run right through the city centre and can be a sightseeing experience on their own. Lines 1 and 4 are highly recommended.

Bus

The buses are generally used to reach the outlying suburbs or to circle the city. The circle buses follow the ring roads around Milan.

Tours & activities in Milan – book online



All Tours & Activities in Milan

SuburbanTrain

Technically the suburban train service, or ‘passante’, is part of the region’s train network which transports passengers out of the city and to the surrounding towns and cities. However, there are a number of different stops in the city that can be useful, depending on where you need to go. It is recommended as the best way to get to the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre as it is less crowded and faster than the Underground.

Bike sharing

Another nice way to get around this relatively flat city is by bike. Cycle paths are limited but more are appearing every day.

To have a daily or weekly pass you will need to register on the website and pay by credit card.

Milan bike by Italy Chronicles PhotosAlternatively, you can call the ATM toll-free number on 800 80 81 81 or go to an ATM Point at the following Underground stations:
Duomo (M1-M3)
Cadorna (M1-M2)
Loreto (M1-M2)
Romolo (M2)
Centrale FS (M2-M3)
Garibaldi FS (M2)

A daily pass will cost you 2.50€ or weekly 6€. The service is designed to get you around the city, rather than hiring a bicycle for the whole day. Usually, you pick up a bike from one station and then leave it at another station when you have reached your destination.

The first 30 minutes are free and then it’s 0.50€ for every 30 minutes until a maximum of two hours. After the 2-hour limit it costs 2€ per hour. When you leave the bike at a station, your 30 minutes is reset (it’s not accumulative).

Taxi

Taxi rank Milan by jamiejohndaviesTaxis aren’t exactly cheap in Milan and there is really only one option, apart from a few private services. All taxis are registered with the local council and then adhere to a taxi consortium. Don’t worry, the meter will always be turned on.

Taxi Blu

Tel: 02 4040 or download their booking “app” called “TaxiMilano”.

Yellow Taxi

Tel: 02 6969 or download their booking “app” called “IT Taxi”.

Food in Milan

As you might imagine, food is also fashion in this Italian fashion capital. The restaurants can sometimes feel all style and no substance, but there is something for everyone in this city, including warm, traditional Milanese cuisine.

Milanese food

The first thing to know about Milan is that it’s surrounded by rice fields. Risotto is big here and is the topic of much discussion. There’s no one way to cook it that everyone agrees on – some like it with more liquid, some less, some with more salt…see what you think and your fellow Italians will be delighted to pitch in to the debate.

Risotto alla Milanese by naotakemThe classic risotto is the ‘Risotto alla Milanese’, which is rice cooked with saffron. It’s often nicely paired with Osso Buco, a slowly roasted veal shank. Another big thing to eat is the Cotoletta, a schnitzel-style veal, crumbed and fried in butter.

The Naviglio Grande area is a great place to start to try typical Milanese cuisine with many cosy restaurants. In summer, you can enjoy sitting by the canal, although ask your waiter for some mosquito spray. L’Altro Luca e Andrea, at numbe 24 on the ‘Alzaia Naviglio Grande’ canal, serves many of these delicious Milanese classics. Alternatively, take a short walk away from the canal and you’ll find Damm-atrà, (at 1 Via Elia Lombardini) – a friendly trattoria which has all the standard Milanese fare plus some interesting traditional entrees, including fried bread, potato skins and fried nerves.

If you fancy trying the Cotoletta alla Milanese (the famous breaded veal cutlet), head for La Cotoletteria on Corso Garibaldi 11.

If you want to upscale your dining experience, Cracco, with two Michelin-stars, is highly recommended for its modern and creative take on Milanese cuisine. You’ll find it at 4 Via Victor Hugo.

Aperitivo /happy hour

While in many parts of Europe it’s quite common to have an aperitif before dinner to stimulate the appetite, Milan offers not only the drink but a mountain of food that could actually replace your dinner if you so wish.

Focaccia by npinto_97In many bars, from around 7 to 9 or 10pm, you can go for a drink and then help yourself to the buffet as many times as you’d like. The food tends to be easy food – pizza squares, focaccia, olives, pasta or rice – food that tends to complement your often strong cocktail (“free pour” rules here).

The area surrounding Piazza Vetra, just off the Via Torino shopping strip, is a nice spot to try out this very Milanese custom. There are some excellent buffets and good-quality cocktails. The Navigli Canal area is also full of great places to discover.

For something a bit more glam, try Globe, which is located on the top of the Coin department store, at Piazza 5 Giornate.

Take an Italian food tasting tour

Fashion-influenced restaurants

Unsurprisingly, the fashion industry has worked to make its mark on the restaurant business here and you will come across some amazingly elegant places. Try Dolce and Gabbana Gold, on Piazza Risorgimento, all decked out in gold and with a Sicilian-influenced menu. Nobu Armani is good if you fancy some delicious sushi at Via Pisoni 1. Alternatively, try Trussardi next to the Opera della Scala. Along with the fashion you can find Trussardi Cafè offering glam hamburgers and panini or Trussardi Ristorante upstairs for beautiful and interesting Italian cuisine.

Non-Milanese Italian food

You could eat for years and still not have tried all of the amazing dishes Italy has to offer. If you fancy sampling some cooking from beyond Milan, start with Trattoria Pugliese Acquasala, 71 Ripa di Porta Ticinese, which offers up typical dishes from the region of Puglia. Roman cooking reigns supreme at Pane & Ojo, 10 Via Ludovico Muratori, while L’antica Foccaceria di San Francesco, which has three different locations in Milan, is the place to head for all your Sicilian favourites such as cannoli and arancini.

International cuisine

Although Milan doesn’t have the diversity of London, if a craving for something non-Italian hits you, there are some decent options.

Sushi by titou.netA newcomer to the Chinese-fusion scene in Milan is Ba (10 Via Carlo Ravizza), with a Cantonese-inspired menu in a beautiful restaurant. Another popular place is Mandarin 2, at 22A via Garofalo/ Via Donatello.

Japanese is big here and there are many good restaurants to choose from. Try Hana at Corso Vercelli, 37 or the classic sushi bar at Poporoya Sushi Bar, 17 Via Eustachi.

For a special night, the lovely Vietnamamour, 7 Via Alessandro Pestalozza, never fails to offer top-quality Vietnamese cuisine in a beautiful setting. Ask to be seated in the outside garden in the summer.

The area around Porta Venezia is filled with African dining options, in particular Eritrean. Try Adulis Restaurant at 24 via Melzo. A good place for Indian is Just India at 34 Via Benedetto Marcello.

Gelato Giusto by br1dotcomGelato!

No trip to Italy is complete without some gelato and you’ll find some fantastic options in Milan. Shockolat, at 9 Via Giovanni Boccaccio, is a winner, while you might also like the limited but interesting flavours of Gelato Giusto, at 17 via San Gregorio. For a classic, family-run gelateria, you can’t beat Il Rigoletto, 9 Via San Siro.

From touchdown to downtown – getting from Seville Airport to the city centre

Don’t waste your time wandering around trying to figure out how to get away from Seville’s charming little airport and out into the Andalusian sunshine. Let us help you arrive prepared with all of the information you need to get to the centre of Seville from the airport, and back again when it’s time to go home.

potter Seville SVQ by Sergio LoraAbout the airport

Seville’s San Pablo Airport (SVQ) is about 10km to the north east of the city and is located between Seville and Rinconada. At present there is one terminal which makes this an easy airport to navigate. It’s equipped with a full-service restaurant featuring Spanish food in the departures area outside security, and a café and snack bar past security. There’s an ATM and a chemist’s on the first floor of the terminal and duty-free shopping is available in the boarding area.

Getting to and from Seville Airport

However you choose to travel (by taxi, bus or rental car), prior knowledge of schedules and modes of transport available will help ensure things go smoothly.

Private Seville airport transfers – online booking

Taxi

Taxis are the quickest way to get the city centre from the airport and vice versa. The trip should take around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the traffic and your final destination and cost between 20-25 euros. The taxi rank is just outside the terminal on the opposite kerb.

Taxis that service the Seville airport:
Radiotaxi Giralda: 954 675 555
Radiotaxi:954 580 000
Teletaxi: 954 622 222

Bus

HIMG_1172.JPG by ssylvisop on the bus to the city centre from 05:20 to 01:15 daily. You buy your ticket on board and the trip takes approximately 30 minutes. The last stop is Plaza de Armas Station. You can also catch the bus back to the airport from 04:30 to 00:30. The stop closest to the city centre is Avenida Carlos V., and from there the city tram is a few minutes’ walk away. The bus stop is just outside the terminal building.

These are the stops:

  • Airport
  • Kansas City
  • Estación de Santa Justa (train station)
  • Lluis de Morales
  • S. Bernando
  • Avenida Carlos V. or Jardines del Prado de San Sebastián (this is one of the most central stops)
  • Paseo Colón
  • Estación de Plaza de Armas (Bus Station) near the bullfighting ring

12.41 AM  Valdosta Airport  Rental Cars Available by Old Shoe WomanRental cars

Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National Atesa, and Sixt all lease cars in Seville Airport. From the airport it’s a short trip in your rental car to the city centre.

Directions

To the airport

From Seville, take Avenida de Kansas City towards Ctra. De Carmona. Stay to the left at the fork in the road, follow signs for E-5/A-4/Aeropuerto and merge onto E-5/A-4. Take exit 533 to the airport.

Get detailed instructions from Google Maps to Seville Airport.

From the airport

Take exit 533. Turn slightly to the left and take the ramp on the left. Keep left at the fork in the road and merge onto A-4. Take exit 5367 towards Sevilla Centro Cuidad.

Get detailed instructions from Google Maps from Seville Airport.

Wien food by kadluba

Food in Vienna

Wiener Schnitzel- Lowenbrau by u m a m iThe Viennese take pride in their cuisine, which as they like to point out, is the only one in the world named after a city. While much of it is also quintessentially Austrian, some dishes remain distinct. Like the city itself, the food is at the crossroads of central and eastern Europe. Once the seat of an entire empire, many of Vienna’s classic dishes originate from neighbouring lands.

Traditional Viennese cuisine is in general quite heavy and based on meat. The most common dish is of course the Wiener Schnitzel, which is breaded and deep fried veal. Served with a wedge of lemon and a side of parsley potatoes, this is the national dish of Austria. Many families also enjoy it as a Sunday midday meal. Other traditional meat-based dishes include:

  • Gulash – a thick stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika
  • Schweinsbraten – roasted pork
  • Tafelspitz – boiled beef served in broth

Sides tend to be quite carbohydrate-heavy. If not potatoes, other popular items include:

  • Knödel – large, round, potato or bread-based dumplings
  • Spätzle – small, doughy egg noodles
  • Schinkenfleckerl – a ham and cheese pasta bake
  • Krautfleckerl – a cabbage and cheese pasta bake

Typical Viennese traditions

Sachertorte by _chris_stWith a rich baking tradition, Viennese cuisine is all about a slice of extravagant cake when it comes to dessert. The most famous of all in Vienna is the Sachertorte. This beloved chocolate sponge cake has a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and is topped by a dark chocolate icing. Its origins were the topic of a legendary legal battle waged between Hotel Sacher and Demel bakery, two iconic Viennese establishments. Try a slice at each and see if you can figure out which tastes more ‘original’. Other traditional desserts include Palatschinken, which are sweet crepes with various fillings, or Strudel, a layered pastry filled most often with apples or sweetened quark cheese.

For the ultimate experience in traditional dining, skip the gourmet restaurants and head straight for a Wiener Beisl. These no-frills beer houses serve up hearty classic dishes and are the scenes of lively evenings among locals out for a bite to eat.

One of the more remarkable characteristics of food in Vienna is the refreshing extent to which dishes in the city rely upon local and seasonal ingredients. Interestingly, restaurants do this without labelling themselves as such, which is truly a reflection of the Austrian food philosophy on the whole. A local or seasonal ‘food movement’ cannot be found here because it has been this way since the start. With four distinct seasons, food items vary greatly and are celebrated with unique traditions and even festivals when they become available again with the advent of a new season. The return of pumpkins, chanterelle mushrooms, chestnuts, wild garlic, asparagus, berries, and apricots are especially looked forward to.

Culinary experiences in Vienna – online booking

Drinks and café culture

Vienna Refreshments by RBradburnIn terms of drinks in Vienna, beer, wine, and coffee are the essentials. Starting with the first of the day, coffee plays an integral role in the psyche of the city. The traditional café culture is truly something every visitor must experience. One can sit for hours on end in a Viennese café reading from a wide selection of international newspapers, sipping caffeinated concoctions, and eating pastries and cake. This element of local life is so loved in fact, that UNESCO officially classified it in 2011 as belonging to the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ of the city. The Viennese guard it seriously indeed. Check out Demel, Café Sacher, or Café Central. Between beer and wine, locals prefer the latter. The city’s extensive vineyards make it hard not to, with delicious and affordable wine produced right within the city limits. In autumn, the Viennese go crazy for Sturm, a seasonal drink of wine in its early stages.

Sturm by oksidorAnother quintessential dining experience is that of the Heurigen. These are unique wine taverns in and around Vienna’s vineyards loved for their rustic décor, traditional food, local wine, and outdoor dining gardens, often under a trellis of grape vines. Located mostly in the north of the city, they can be spotted from the outside by an iconic hanging green wreath or branch that indicates they are open for business.

Seeking international options?

Finally, if Viennese cuisine isn’t to your liking, you definitely have other possibilities. The city is full of extensive international options that cater to global palates. A trip to the Naschmarkt alone results in a myriad of restaurant choices from around the world. A new scene on the rise is also challenging the concept and limits of traditional dishes, as restaurants have begun to reinterpret classic cuisine. Places like Österreicher im Mak or Skopik & Lohn have received rave reviews for the new spin they put on Viennese dishes when incorporating daring spices and fusion flair.

One thing is for certain—you will not go hungry in Vienna. Mahlzeit!