My latest adventure has me venturing to country number 47 in my quest for 50 countries before 50. I decided to fly out of Jfk to Mxp in Milan Italy. Landed in Milan just before 8 am.
After customs, I headed to the train. You take the Malpensa Express train to Milano Centrale or Milano Cadorna station. Roughy a 45-50 minute ride. From there it’s just a quick hour train ride to Bologna. The train tickets one way was a whopping 61 euro! I’m shocked it was so high! I was debating whether I should fly out and Zed fare or take the train but I’m thinking Zed is cheaper!
I found a fantastic deal to stay at the only five star hotel in Bologna. The Grand Magestic Baglioni. What a hotel. But see my separate review!
After arriving at the train station, the hotel is a 20 minute walk to the city center. After settling in, I got to walk around Bologna, checking out the beautiful city known for its extensive porticos. Despite the graffiti, the city is alive and bustling with college students and residents of the city. Plenty of shopping and restaurants. I can’t help but think this is a great day trip from Milan.
The next morning I caught the fast train from Bologna to Rimini. Another 21 euro. Upon arrival in Rimini. I found the bus to San Marino. I arrived in Rimini with 8 minutes to get to the bus. Luckily it’s right across the street from the station just to the left with a big sign. And you can buy your tickets on the bus so it made my life easy.
It was a nice big clean motor coach to San Marino. A leisurely 45 minute drive.
Once you get to the top, you have beautiful views of the area. Looking at the view, the elevator is a few steps to your left. Then you exit and head to the city gate with a guard in front. From there you wind your up into the city. It’s beautiful.
From the cobbled medieval streets to the magnificent panoramic views, its simply stunning. There are two towers you can visit for more views. Really worth seeing.
Most people recommended about five hours to visit here but I did it in a hour and a half. Add another hour for lunch. Maybe because I went at the end of January but it was dead. And most stores were closed.
After that there’s another 45 minute bus drive back to Rimini for 5 euro. The train station is small and easily managed however there wasn’t any kiosks for fast service. I missed my train by two minutes due to waiting in line. But there was another train 30 minutes later. The return train ticket was 16 euro. This ride took an hour and 15 minutes. Once back in Bologna, I headed to bed.
The return home was quite the decision. Having not realized train tickets were so pricey (I was looking at over 55 euro to Rome), I decided to look at zed fare pricing. Around 40 euro to most airports in Europe. Wow.
Leaving Bologna I have a choice to go north back to Milan in the train or south on the train to Rome. I can also fly out to Delta mainline stations in Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid.
So I chose to take a flight to Frankfurt since it had tons of seats open and only cost $42. I took a cab in the morning to Bologna airport which was about $22. Overall, not bad and I didn’t have to change trains three times. Flight time was less than 90 minutes.
Arrival in Frankfurt was smooth. The only thing that stinks is you have to go through security again to get your gate. I hate that. I have water and I don’t want to dump it. But other than that, this is an efficient airport.
Overall, I enjoyed my trip and it’s a great way to add another country.