So far we have not done many trips that require us to fly. Mostly due to concerns around COVID, ever-changing COVID regulations in different EU countries, and just general anxiety around travel right now! We are lucky that being in Northern Italy means there is SO MUCH we can easily drive to see – Croatia, Slovenia, Austria – in addition to all of the dreamy Italian cities nearby.
I'm so happy we sold our Honda Accord and Toyota 4Runner and got this VW Golf to bring to Italy. It's so easy to drive and park here!
However, we have flown twice at this point. Once out of Venice’s Marco Polo airport, to go to Santorini, Greece. And once out of Milan Malpensa, to go back to the States to see family for Christmas. Flying once out of each of these airports obviously does not make me an expert. But I did do my research each time and found, what we thought, were some good deals when you need to drive and park at these particular airports. So I wanted to share them with you!
I will also say, for anyone living in or moving to Naples (Napoli) with the Navy, the airport there is SO convenient. It’s literally right next to the Navy Base, where you can park your car and walk a couple hundred meters and be at a check-in desk! That really spoiled us. So when I started looking at the airports around Vicenza, I was a little discouraged because it seemed like it would be a big pain and much more expensive because we have to travel to even get to an airport. But I’m happy to report that it’s been more simple and not as pricey as I had originally thought!
A view of Mt. Vesuvius in Napoli from the hotel at Capodichino Navy Base, which is directly beside the airport. This was from our last night in Napoli in 2016.
Marco Polo – Venice
The airport in Venice is just under an hour from Vicenza, if traffic isn’t bad. It’s all highway, so it’s pretty easy too. After researching I found that you can pre-book parking at the airport for very reasonable prices. Just enter your date of entry, then your exit date and it will bring up options at different price points. The further away the cheaper, but none of them are actually very far at all. Each section is numbered (see photo below) and the site tells you the number of meters away the lot is and an average time it takes to walk from there to the airport. Everything I’ve seen is no more than 5 minutes walking.
I snapped this pic in the parking lot at Marco Polo so we would remember exactly where we had parked. Not the best, but you can see that it's nice and clean with good signage.
When we flew to Santorini I booked our spot about 15 days in advance, for a total of 5 days. It was less than €20 (abt. $23) total. We parked in one of the further away lots, but again, it was not very far and there was a clear, smooth path to get to where we needed to go at the airport. I received a very detailed email with super specific directions on how it all works. The website has an English option and the email was in English as well.
Most of the lots are uncovered, but there is a covered option if you don’t mind paying more. I also remember that some of the lots were already full when I started looking. So I would say book the parking as soon as you book the flight. Especially during peak travel times. This was in July, so definitely high season!
On the plane to Santorini! This was July 2021. We were not allow to wear cloth masks, but could wear these medical ones. As of the writing of this post, you are now required to wear N95, KN95 or FFP2 on most flights to/from/within Europe.
Who knows how long this will last though!?!
Of course, there are other ways to get to the airport. If you are with the military base here in Vicenza, there is a shuttle. Although I’m not certain if that can be used for leisure or if it’s just for official travel. You can also take the train from Vicenza, get off on the Mestre stop and then take a bus to the airport. Or you can take a bus all the way there from Vicenza. But if you are like us and just want to get in and go yourselves, it’s so easy to park, and not nearly as pricey as I thought it would be!
Below is the link to the airport parking site I used. I’ve also linked one of my favorite travel-related sites, Rome2Rio, which is great for figuring out what the best mode of transportation is for you, anywhere in the world. It gives average times and a price range, so you can gage your options. It also has a mobile app. The link below will show your options from Vicenza to Venice Airport, but of course you can then go in and put whatever locations you want!
Even though Venice is closer and more convenient sometimes the airport in Milan has the flight that is best for you! This was the case for us when we decided it was important, for family reasons, to go home for our first Christmas in Vicenza. Not a part of our original plans for the 2021 holidays, but sometimes you just have to do what’s best for your whole family.
The Duomo in Milan. We didn't go there on this trip, but saw it back in 2013 or so. Spectacular!
Milan had, by far, the best flight options to get to NC with only one layover (The lowest amount of layovers possible is absolutely a top priority for us when flying). We looked at taking the train to get to Malpensa (the airport), but like other places (Denver comes to mind, since we lived there for 5 years), the airport is not really IN Milan. So you do need to change trains in Milan proper and take a different one to the airport. Also, our flight was at 10:30am, which is not crazy early but we wanted to get there at least 2-2.5 hours in advance and Milan is about 3 hours away. So we decided we should go the day/evening before. And don’t forget about COVID! We also had to have time to get tested. (Which ended up being SO easy – booked an appointment online, had it done right at the airport, €20 each, got results within 10 mins. They were also super nice and efficient! It was the best experience considering what it was!)
So again, I started scouring the internet to see what the best way to do all of this was. And dang if I didn’t find, what we think is, a real gem! Holiday Inn Express come through! Admittedly, not super exciting. LOL But this particular one has a park and stay option, where you can spend the night and then leave your car for “x” number of days (they have a few different pricing options for different numbers of days) for a truly unbelievable price! We did their Park Stay Go 15 Day option for a grand total of €127.50 ($151). But the wild part is that JUST a room was around €105 per night. So we got to park our car for 9 nights (but we could have done for 15) for only €22.50. And the kicker is that this included direct transport from the door of the hotel to the airport and back again when we returned. Not just the shuttle that you have to walk to the end of the road to catch. But door to door pick up and drop off!
The hotel is probably about a 5 minute drive (but not really walkable) from the airport. We booked our COVID tests for the night before and drove straight there to do those before we went to the hotel. One word of warning – it’s supposed to take around 2hrs 45mins to get to Milan from Vicenza. But we hit the timing really wrong and it took closer to 3.5hrs because of traffic. So bear that in mind any time you are driving to Milan, but especially if timing is a factor. We had left early enough that it was fine, fortunately.
As for the hotel itself, it’s about what you would expect. It’s not fancy. But it was clean and the room was actually a really good size for Europe, I was surprised to see. No mini-fridge or nice little extras in the room. The bed was comfortable enough and the bathroom looked relatively updated. The hotel itself has a small bar and a restaurant where we did actually eat at since we got in later than expected. It was not bad. It’s absolutely good enough for one night. And the staff were helpful and courteous, so that’s always a plus.
Marco Polo Airport also offers COVID testing. We haven't done it there yet, so I can't compare, but you can find more information at the link below.
Another thing to note, I have seen people mention that they sometimes fly out of the Verona or Treviso airports, which are both in the Veneto region. We have not yet, so I cannot speak to anything about them other than that they exist. But depending on where you are fly to (especially if it’s within Italy or to somewhere else Europe) those might be worth looking at if you aren’t finding flights you like out of Venice or Milan.
Finally, you may notice there are not many photos on this post and there are two reasons for that. 1) When we took these trips I was not thinking about a parking-specific post, so I didn't think to snap anything. And 2) I am a pretty anxious flyer/traveler! Despite my love of travel, everything that needs to be done leading up to going - packing, tickets, paperwork, passports, COVID tests (these days), figuring out the timing of it all, etc. can really stress me out! Even though I have developed tricks and coping mechanisms that help me (breathing techniques, visualizations, lists, and prescription meds), often times taking photos is the LAST thing on my mind. This is something I'm working on, but it does add to an already long list of things to think about when traveling. It's all a balance, but I didn't really realize before I took this blog on HOW much it actually adds. I'll get it get better about it I'm sure. Thanks for sticking with me in the meantime while I figure all this out!
Well, those are our experiences with flying out of both Venice and Milan airports. I hope our experience can help someone else out there. And I REALLY hope that we get to fly more this year, so if I discover some newer, better, cheaper, ways to get there or park I will update this or maybe write a whole new post. Ciao for now friends!
Disclaimer – I have no affiliation with any app or website mentioned in this post.
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