Day Trips From Milan - United Hub

The perfect day trips from Milan

By The Hub team

Aerial view of Lake Como

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By: Digital Engagement and Advocacy Programs Manager, Jamie Rutter

Three days in a foreign country may not seem like enough time for some. For me? I squeezed in more than five Italian cities and think you should do it that way, too.

Stop 1: Lake Como

The plan was to visit Mendrisio, Switzerland. We picked up a tiny rental car and headed to the Swiss border, less than an hour from Milan. What we didn't plan for was a $50 toll, which didn't seem worth it just to get chocolate and window shop at a designer factory outlet. So, instead, we decided to make a U-turn and head for nearby Como, one of three major towns that line Lake Como and mostly host vacation homes.

From Como's central church plaza, we wandered through streets lined with shops and cafes and made our way to a dock to soak in the view. We could have hopped on a ferry to visit the other, even prettier towns but decided to go a different route. While looking up into ridges that feed into the Alps, we noticed buildings at the top of the nearest one. There were four choices to get up there: a switchback-filled road with steep drop-offs, a bus going up that same narrow road, a cable car or walking over four miles uphill. We chose the first.

A few hairpins, near run-ins with scooters and many deep breaths later, we found ourselves sipping espresso on a terrace perched over the edge of the ridge facing Lake Como. Distant, snowcapped Alps provided a dramatic backdrop for some Instagram photos.

From there, we revisited those switchbacks on the way down and set our GPS on Maranello.

Parma ham and fried bread in Parma

Stop 2: Parma

Yes, it's exactly what you're thinking. Parmesan cheese comes from Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano comes from the nearby Reggio Emilia. Prosciutto (referred to as Parma ham) also hails from this region, so Parma is a must for any food lover. About halfway between Milan and Maranello, Parma was the perfect stop for lunch.

We ate near the city center at Trattoria Corrieri that included a plate full of local charcuterie, gnocchi, ravioli and regional fried bread called gnocco fritto. North of the city is a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory farm called Caseificio Sociale Bassa Parmense. You can schedule a tour in advance (or just show up on Saturdays), otherwise just pop into their shop to taste various ages of cheese and purchase fresh-cut wedges, vacuum packed so they stay fresh through the rest of your trip.

Whiskey store in Maranello

Stop 3: Maranello

There's really only one reason to visit Maranello: Ferrari. The corporate headquarters, factory and museum are housed here. Unfortunately, you can only get in for a tour if you're an owner, so we just joined the other tourists outside the gates taking selfies and peeking inside whenever an employee or truck opened the gates to leave. There's a Ferrari store conveniently across the street as well.

If you're a whiskey fan, there's actually an unexpectedly fun detour to make from there. Just north in the town of Formigine is one of the biggest, most well-stocked whiskey stores I've ever seen. The owner of Whiskey Antique even has part of his private collection on display for you to gawk at.

Lamborghini factory in Modena

Stop 4: Modena

Aziz Ansari fans will recognize this city from the most recent season of Master of None and Ferrari fans will recognize it as Enzo Ferrari's birthplace. It's also the center of the region known for producing balsamic vinegar and a wine called Lambrusco. For relaxed outdoor shopping, every Sunday there's a street market in the church's plaza selling antiques and knickknacks. We elected to do this instead of tastings or tours.

Not far from town is another gearhead hotspot: the Lamborghini factory. This one and its museum are open to the public, but don't try to drive your rental Fiat into the parking lot like we did. If you're not in a Lamborghini (which you'll see plenty of heading that way), you get to park down the street.

Duomo in Milan

Stop 5: Milan

Last but not least, back toward the Milan–Malpensa Airport is the fashion capital of Italy, Milan. The beautiful city hosts a massive duomo, the gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" and much, much more. That's all for a different guide, but I'll leave you with this: Both the gelato at Cioccolati Italiani and the panzerotti at Luini are worth the wait.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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