There’s this amazing four-star hotel less than a kilometer from the Milan Malpensa Airport, nestled just off of a narrow country lane, sitting regally behind a stone-and-iron fence in Ticino National Park. It’s not something you might expect to find in the location you find it. But I’m so happy it’s there.
a little history…
It’s a reclamation project of the Bonini family and was once the pride of the Caproni industrial empire, which fell apart after WWII. But you can get the full blurb about the place online, or better yet, from the pamphlet at the hotel. The copy written in English is so exquisitely butchered that it alone makes a stay almost mandatory. I would put it up on the blog but I think you should just go see for yourself. I was both wildly entertained while reading it, and eventually even educated a bit when I managed to decipher the baffling code. English is a brutally unforgiving second language, and for some country folk, it’s also a brutally unforgiving first language. So absolutely no points deducted for an imperfect translation. On the contrary, add half a star for making my already lovely day that much better.
Before I make a condescending cad of myself (if there’s still time), let me admit that I barely speak ten words of Italian, though a stack of one-hundred Italian flash-cards sits not seventy centimeters from my eyes at least six hours out of every day. But I’m in Macedonia at the time of this writing and struggling to get a handle on the alphabet, let alone learn full sentences. I can say “Zdravo” and then stand there using hand-signals, confusing us all. So to be in Italy having a chuckle at a hodge-podge of English words that make enough sense to portray anything at all is not meant to be arrogant or rude. I try my hand at whatever language is spoken locally wherever I am and I often get laughed at in a good-natured way.
Digressing. Back to Hotel Villa Malpensa.
The hotel concierge was wonderful. An eager, helpful young chap even came to pick us up from the airport, gratis. Hotel Villa Malpensa has what looks like a decent-sized swimming-pool that was out of commission at the time of my visit (it was almost November), and sits on a comfortably big plot of well-manicured land across the lane from what used to be the estate’s farm. I’d like to return in the summer if possible and lounge about for a day or two in the Italian countryside.
Other than visiting the hotel for the sake of visiting the hotel (unless you’re in an overnight transit through the Milan Malpensa Airport), you’ll likely have no reason to be in this neck of the woods. It’s in the middle of nowhere and the closest village, Vizzola Ticino, is a thirty-minute walk away and it’s tiny, so probably has not much to offer strangers other than a big friendly “Ciao” from two elderly, happy-looking gents arm in arm, out for an evening stroll.
The hotel itself is in a national park, however, and if you need a bit of time away from it all, to wander around with nowhere in particular to be, this could very well suit your needs. It is close enough to Milan for a day trip. It would also be a great place for a wedding since it has a bit of magic to it.
It may come as a huge surprise to learn, but, believe it or not, the food was great! Really! Ok, joking aside, I think it can be universally accepted that food in Italy is perfect and I don’t need to go into any detail about it, so I won’t. Que to food porn.
The hotel was perfectly clean, with classy rooms for under €80/night, helpful and friendly staff, some interesting architecture and colourful history (which I urge you to read from the pamphlet), and it provided a quiet and comfortable, relaxing setting not four minutes from the airport, which, for some mysterious and magical reason, you can barely hear.
If you ever want or need a classy stay in a beautiful hotel in the middle of Italian nowhere on your way to or from anywhere that passes through the Milan Malpensa Airport, you might consider Hotel Villa Malpensa.