Subject: Re: Flying to Italy
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Since we are beginning to plan next year's trip to Italy, this issue is of great interest to me. This will make our seventh trip, but we have still not found an ideal way to get there and return, so I am most interested in what others have to say (several times, our flight plans were dictated by limitations on free tickets).

Gail Norris compared Frankfurt favorably to Heathrow, which I can believe although we have never connected through Heathrow. However, Frankfurt itself leaves more than a lot to be desired, especially if that is your final destination and you are not arriving on Lufthansa(the first terminal). Getting to and from the second terminal involves a maze of going up and down levels, which is a major problem for people like my wife who has no knee cartilage. On the positive side is the access to the train from within the airport, if that is your final destination.

Two years ago we changed in Brussels. The layout was much more straight forward, but our change of planes forced us from one end of the airport to the other. Rome is excellent when you get there because of the train connection to the Termini station, but for some reason (landing fees?) American Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth's major airline, does not fly there.

The easiest changes have been in New York or Chicago to Milan. Perhaps we were just lucky in our most recent New York change because the arrival and departing gates were adjacent on both ends of the trip. Cinncinnati was a bit more of a problem for change as regards distance but was not terrible.

With due apology to Marco, whom our entire family adores, we are also not big fans of Milan (where there are nonstop flights from Dallas) even though Malpensa II is well laid out. Hotels are expensive, and there is not much to see. Last year, we stayed at a very enjoyable hotel in Como, and even though the airport cab was expensive, the whole cost including hotel, was far better than Milan and more enjoyable. Moreover, there are better options if your final destination or origin is further South, which it usually is.

We are currently thinking of going from Dallas to Siena or, what is less likely because of its smaller size, Florence itself by changing in a European city. Has anyone from the US or Canada flown to either or these destinations, and what were your experiences?