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1st Night in Milan

Taking the train and Review of Stay at Affittacamere Scaccomatto

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Our arrival and departure point was at the Milan Malpensa Airport, making Milan our first stop in Europe. We only used it as a transit at this point of time. We would later return to Milan for our last two days in Italy.

We cleared customs with no problems, and then proceeded to the train station to buy tickets for the Milan Malpensa. We were headed for the central of Milan where our accommodation for the night, an apartment-style hotel called Affittacamere Scacco Matto, was located. The ticketing officer at the station could communicate in English and we bought our tickets without hassle.


On the train, there are limited luggage compartments near the doors for huge luggage, and racks above the seats for smaller luggage. The seats are mostly arranged in fours with two front-facing seats and two back-facing seats.

But the train would not stop at Milano Centrale. In our eagerness, we had made a dash for the oncoming train without checking that it was the Malpensa Express. The train reached its last stop which wasn't our destination. Flustered, we got off with our luggage and asked for directions. Fortunately, we weren't too far off track. We left the platform and bought a ticket which cost 1.50 EUR. Each ticket has an unlimited use for 75 minutes. A similar ticketing system applies in Cinque Terre, Rome and Florence.

I got stuck at the faregate, though Ivy didn't have problems getting through hers. My ticket just wouldn't go in and there wasn't any station personnel to help. I was panicking, trying to push my ticket in when an old man came along and tapped me hard on my shoulder and said something gruffily which I couldn't make out. I thought he was asking me to get out of the way so I quickly stood aside. When he was at the other side, he turned around and motioned at me to follow him. Aww he just wanted to help! (I think the gate remains open as long as the person hasn't completely left?).

But of course that led to the next problem, how to leave through the faregate at the destination stop. Ticket wouldn't go through again, likely because it detected that there was no entrance time on it. This time, there was a lone guy working in front of a bunch of CCTV cameras in a room next to the faregates. We waved at him to get his attention. He took a glance at us, then without a word, opened the gates, so I've essentially got a free ride lol. I wonder how much public transport revenue they're losing like that.

We got to Affittacamere Scacco Matto with no further issues. This is an apartment-style lodging that shares a building with a few other similar hostels/apartments. The neighbourhood that it is located in appeared a little run-down. Not seedy or dangerous, just not very well-maintained in appearance. From the main entrance of the building, we had to go down a wide passageway, and I swear I'm not exaggerating, it wouldn't look out of place in a zombie apocalypse. My heart was pounding as we went down the passageway towards the flight of stairs that would lead to our apartment.

Yep stairs, and it feels like a long and narrow flight up, considering our bulky luggage and bags. But the man at the reception was quite nice. When Ivy went up to inform him about our arrival, he came down to help us with our luggage. We left him a tip when we left the next morning.

On the floor of Affittacamere Scacco Matto, there are a few rooms and a small common area with, I think, a beverage dispensing machine, reading materials for tourists, table, some chairs (my memory is hazy on this). Scacco Matto is checkmate in Italian, and there are some chess-themed display items to complement the name. Our key chain is in the shape of a chess piece.

The room was surprisingly spacious.


We booked a double room with hostelbookers.com, and it came with a large double bed...


and a single bed at the other end with a wardrobe. There's also a dressing table. And plenty of space to lay our luggage open flat on the floor.


This was the bathroom. I hate the toilet bowl, it's not meant for people with short legs. But the shower was pretty easy to work.


There are mini complementary bars of soap on the sink.

It was late and we hadn't meant to eat a proper dinner, so we got supper from a nearby Cold Storage and kebab store.


I got a packet of rice milk, apples and potato salad from Cold Storage, which came up to 5.40 EUR.

I eat apples everyday, so I make it a point to eat fruits when I travel to stay healthy. Ivy kept teasing me for buying so many apples. As I wasn't sure if it would be easy and cheap to obtain fruits in Europe, I thought it was a good idea to stock up while I could.

Instant regret. They were heavy and I crammed all of them into my next day's diet just so I wouldn't have to lug them around.

I also saved some of the rice milk and potato salad for next day's breakfast. We had an early train to catch to Cinque Terre, and the complimentary breakfast is only available from 8am. There was no refrigerator or air-conditioning in the room, but the night air was cold, so we placed our food at the window sill to keep them fresh.


We got a Döner Kebab from the kebab store to share, costing 3 EUR. It was very lucky we decided to share it because it was really filling. Delicious, but gets increasingly salty to the middle, definitely not something we could eat a lot of.


Loads of sauce inside, yum.

I use ear plugs when I sleep, so I have no idea of how conducive the environment was at night. But the bed and pillow are comfortable, the covers are snug and the temperature was fine. I didn't have trouble falling asleep.

Communication with the hotel staff was hassle-free. The reception staff could speak English. The week before, I emailed the hotel with some questions, and they responded within a working day.

It costs 108.32 SGD for 2 people (15% goes to the booking website) for one night.

Next post: Milano Centrale

Posted by kurodatenshi 05:33 Archived in Italy Tagged food hotel milan

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