Hi guys, on my way back to sunny Florida from my semiannual trip to Asia, I stopped over in Milan, Italy, for few days as I was invited to do a lecture on the topic of bilateral free trade agreements, market-entry strategy and internationalization at a graduate class of soon-to-be new MBAs.
So for the final part of the trip, from Milan to Fort Lauderdale, I opted to fly Alitalia from MXP to JFK and then onward connecting with Delta from JFK to FLL, and enjoyed the pre-boarding by having one of the best business/first class lounge experience at the new Casa Alitalia lounge at Milan-Malpensa airport:
Alitalia has never been known for outstanding quality or service but after Etihad acquired a 49% stake in the Italian flag airline, the company has been totally restructured, reorganizing and streamlining team, fleet and network, and giving priority to revamping the flight experience either on the ground and on-board.
This also reflected in the new Casa Alitalia lounge which showcases the very best of Italian style and excellence, paying attention to details, from the interior decor to the dining and wining experience.
And indeed the lounge is truly Italian, from the hospitality concept to the cuisine, providing a genuine homely feeling to the passengers who can access the lounge (those who travel business class or enjoy the elite plus status with SkyTeam) and immediately get the feeling of being guests and not just the average passenger.
From Poltrona Frau, the iconic Italian design sofa brand specialized in hand-crafting (and Poltrona Frau is also familiar to premium passengers flying first class with Singapore Airlines and flying the Residence with Etihad) to Richard Ginori chinaware, from Cantine Ferrari sparkling wine to Lavazza coffee and Terme di Sirmione spa and wellness products, everything is Italian.
The Casa Alitalia lounge at Milan-Malpensa is relatively small, just 500 sqm., or about 5,400 sqf., can accommodate up to 90 guests, and it's been designed more like an Italian home with a foyer, a living/conversation area, cooking and dining areas, along with a business meeting room.
On top of this a live cooking/open kitchen where a chef prepares a selection of pasta dishes following Italian traditional regional recipes, and a bar area where to enjoy the typical Italian aperitivo or tasting a selection of Italian wines.
Well, brief intro and now let's give space to the pics, and everything starts with a toast:
Then onward to visit the lounge:
So how about starting with a duo of home-made pasta just prepared in the open kitchen?
Then onward to the buffet counter:
And now on the sweet side:
And closing with a strong espresso coffee and another glass of Trento DOC sparkling wine:
As all good things come to an end, a farewell pic together with the highly friendly and professional lounge team, wearing the latest Alitalia uniform for ground staff, before heading to gate B09 for boarding AZ 604 to New York-JFK:
Well, that's all for now, and until next time I wish you all the best, and have a great week-end.