Malpensa Airpot is a huge airport about an hour outside of Milan. Malpensa handles a lot of international flights, while Milan’s other airport, Linate, handles domestic and regional flights. If you are flying into or out of Italy, there is a good change that you will go thorough Malpensa. Here are some pictures of Milan, which as a side note, warrants at least day to see the sites (Milan is home to my favorite duomo)!
Malpensa has two terminals, Terminal 1 and 2, and many shops and restaurants. It also has its own lounges, Club SEA, with three locations in Terminal 1: Sala Pergolesi, Sala Monteverdi and Sala Respighi. Dan and I spent some time in the Sala Pergolesi while waiting for our Emirates flight to JFK in September 2015.
The first thing you need to know about the Sala Pergolesi is that it is rather difficult to find! There are signs, but I found them not helpful. To get to the Sala Pergolesi, proceed through security and then walking through the shopping/dining area all the way down to the immigration clearance to enter the non-Schengen zone. Once you clear customs, the Sala Pergolesi is near Boarding Gate B at the top of a random escalator (about a 15 minute walk from Boarding Gate A) There is only a tiny sign at the top of the escalator.
Once you finally reach the lounge, check in is immediately to your right. Priority Pass members enjoy free access, and certain airlines use the Sala Pergolesi as its lounge. You can purchase a one day pass for €25,00 here or pay at the door for €35,00 (unless it is full).
I enjoyed my time in the Sala Pergolesi, and it provided a comfortable place to spend an hour waiting for my flight! The lounge is laid out as a large open room with a number of comfortable leather sofas and chairs arranged in square settings, so your party can have its own little area. There are a number of large TVs set up around the lounge playing CNN and international news publications available for reading. Departure information is located above the check-in desk. Good wifi is available throughout the lounge. Power outlets were lacking, but I found one on the wall that I was able to use.
Restrooms and apparently showers are located on the left. I say “apparently” with regard to the showers because they are advertised, but I did not see them. It seems like they cost extra to use.
A food and drink spread is set up on the back wall. In terms of food, Sala Pergolesi offers a constatnly-replinished selection of chips, crackers and cookies. As well as a cold bar offering yogurt and a “prepared” section offers finger sandwiches mid-day (perhaps there is something more substantial around meal times).
I found the sandwiches and cookies to be a bit stale. The chips were standard fare and they also offered personal Nutella packages, which I put on the crackers! However, if you are looking for a meal, I recommend eating or picking up something BEFORE clearing immigration and entering the non-Schengen area. Food options drop off substantially after you make the jump (and there’s no going back).
In terms of drinks, the offering was slightly better. Sala Pergolesi set up a self-serve bar in the back of the lounge, which included a pretty decent selection of hard liquor, including some surprises such as Bailey’s! I found the wine selection to be a bit small for an Italian airport lounge; there were two bottles of red, one bottle of white and one sparking wine. The staff replaced the wine as it ran out, but they weren’t that quick… However, the sparking wine was of good quality, and perhaps the service was slow since were were there at an off-time. There was non-craft beer available under the prepared food section in coolers. In addition to alcohol, a few types of fruit juice and milk are available on the cold bar and a number of soda cans were available in the coolers below the buffet.
STEAL OUR TRIP
Club S.E.A., Sala Pergolesi – Milan Malpensa (MXP), Terminal 1, Post-Security, Post-Immigration. Open 6:00 – 22:00 daily. Sala Pergolesi is somewhat difficult to find. To locate, go through security in Terminal 1 and through the shopping area. Proceed through customs to the Non-Schengen area (generally meaning flights out of the E.U. (for example to the U.S.)) and the Sala Pergolesi is located near the Boarding Gate B at the top of an escalator.