Apologies as this post will be a bit off the topic of purchasing an Italian home but it was such a wonderful experience I simply have to share it. My early research is done, Paola has answered all my silly questions (price, location, negotiation, taxes, deposits, utilities), and the home in Malgrate continues to draw my attention.
The time has come to discuss the idea of buying a home in Italy with my wife and she is beyond supportive. In fact, I think she might be more excited than I am. I inform Paola the wheels are in motion and I will soon visit Italy to view the place in Malgrate and any others under $125K. I fly quite a bit for my 9-5 job but it is all domestic travel, how should I fly to Italy. I happen to have a ton of points on Virgin America and discover they have a partnership with Emirates Airline. Apologies in advance as Emirates no longer offers this flight but I traded in 60,000 Virgin points for a business class ticket to Milan on Emirates. For years I have told everyone I know that Singapore Airlines is the best airline on the planet, until this flight on Emirates. I am not a big fan of flying as I hate sitting still for a long period of time with so little to do and along came Emirates business class, wow!
The day has arrived and Virgin expertly flies me from San Francisco to New York (JFK) and I have a 5 hour layover. I head up to the Emirates lounge to pass the time and it is impressive: friendly check-in, a wide open space filled with leather chairs, couches, numerous TV’s and tons of food/drinks. Unlike other airport lounges the Emirates lounge isn’t packed with freeloaders slamming back the free drinks before their flight, people here seem used to the comfort and luxury offered by Emirates; I’m clearly the rookie here. I find a couch by the windows to watch the planes come and go. I grab a glass of chardonnay, plug in all my chargers and go examine the buffet. It is now that I realize Emirates is different, this isn’t your typical airline that flies you from city to city; this is going to be an experience. Even the buffet is great with foods for all cultures, diets and eating styles. The 5 hour layover flies by and next thing you know it is time to board the flight.
I previously mentioned I am not a big fan of flying because I often question how something that weighs over 1,000,000 pounds can actually take flight. The Airbus A380 is ridiculously huge, this photo accurately depicts how massive the A380 is in comparison to the usual domestic plane, the A320. The A380 can seat around 500 people with a range of 8,000 miles…this is a truly impressive machine. I am escorted to my seat and I am greeted by a beautiful burl wood encased seat/cub
by. This is the definition of luxury: mini-bar at your seat, amenities kit from Bvlgari , and a 32 inch television screen loaded with thousands of movies. The next point will be difficult to do justice but the sound dampening of this plane is unlike any other. While you can hear the roar of the engines during takeoff, it feels like the shell of the plane has been worked on my acoustic engineers as the engine roar is nearly soothing. For the next 8 hours I am like a kid in a candy store: champagne, wine, dinner, dessert, movie, more wine, trip or two to the bathroom and this is when I discover the bar! Yes, this plane has a beautiful
round bar at the rear of the business class cabin complete with a bartender offering to make whatever drink you’d like. Sure, I would love an old fashion with Makers Mark bourbon. I am blown away as I am seated at a bar on a plane flying at 559 MPH at 40,000 feet in the air. I finally understand why business class typically costs 3-5 times a standard economy class ticket; it takes away the misery of flying. With about 2 hours left in the flight a belly full of food, wine and a bit of bourbon it is time for a nap. I return to my seat and the flight attendant has already transformed my seat into the lie flat bed complete with a thin cushy mattress. Time flies by and I wake up to the captain announcing they will soon start the descent into Milan and I’m disappointed. It’s true, the flight has been so wonderful that I wish we could keep flying. As with everything on this day the captain expertly lands the A380; this dream flight ends while the Tuscan dream begins. Welcome to Italy!