Thursday, January 05, 2012

Monza tickets and advices

MILAN - To get tickets for Monza GP, click here. Usually, people prefer to already own a ticket, of course, but there are also some ways to have a ticket paying before and getting it the day you arrive there. Formula 1 is a very expensive sport, but it's worth.
If you're coming from far, of course you want to stay the whole weekend, but for the people who live closer, even if they are big fans, 3-4 days of Formula One could be very tiring (because of the sun, walking, traffic, people, etc.), so for them it's better just 1 or 2.
For some things you should spend more, for other things you should spend less. Here are my advices from our experiences.

if you're coming from abroad, foreign countries, you probably have to take a plane, that is not expensive, especially if you book some time before, at least one month. There are 3 main airports around Milan: Malpensa (very far but there's a nice train arriving to Milan's Cadorna station), Linate (closer, the bus number 73 takes you to the centre) and Orio al Serio (quite far, you'll have to take a train).
So when you're here you probably don't have a car (unless you rent one), but it's better to go around without a car, as traffic is a problem and it also would be difficult for you without knowing the places. And, you would have to spend a lot of money for fuel and car parkings for whole days. It's also more adventurous to go around and meet people.

cheap hotels, hostels, campings, are not very popular in Milan, you could find them but they could be far and not very nice (you know, Milan is quite an expensive city), I remember also some English girls told me about them. Well, if you like camping, I remember a Hungarian girl choosing that option, there's one "inside" the circuit (it is so inside that last year we laughed because when we were going to the circuit I went inside the camping and a girl working there tried to stop me, and I said: no autographs, please, lol. I was sure it wasn't a camping so I could go inside :).
But I think it's better if you spend just a little bit more for this and stay in a normal hotel, so you can also easily visit Milano. Usually, people say to avoid hotels around Stazione Centrale (the main station), 'cause it's a bit dangerous.
I know some people prefer to stay in a hotel outside the city, I think it's a bad choice, you could get lost. Not even the people living here know so well all the places.
The Ferrari crew stay in one of the most central hotels, just right behind the Duomo cathedral (there's also their shop near there) and of course it's very expensive. But drivers usually sleep inside the circuit in their rooms. Jenson Button and Jessica Michibata usually stay @ a luxury hotel by Como lake (not very far from the circuit), same hotel where former Oasis Liam Gallagher-speeding Beady Eye often come. I know some people stay @ same hotels of celebrities to be sure to meet them, but it's a risk, you could spend a lot of money in vain. And I tell you, there's nothing to go crazy for famous people.
If you're an attractive girl, there's no problem for anything, and you can stay by us, lol.
My sister sometimes has a job on the circuit on the grid as "umbrella girl", now she's more a chief for the girls working.

(distance: about 15 kms, =10 miles, but the total is about 20 kilometres to the circuit)
when you're in Milan and you have to go to the circuit, the best way is: 
a taxi, but it could cost too much, and you wouldn't meet other fans="tifosi", as Schumacher says.
If you don't want to take a taxi, first take a train (about 2 €uros or so, usually towards direction Chiasso) from Garibaldi station (green line metro stop), not from Stazione Centrale station, because there are less trains to go to Monza.
In a few minutes you arrive in Monza, the city (but it doesn't mean that you're already at the circuit, not yet).
Here, outside Monza station, you can walk a tunnel to go out on the right side of the station, there's a free bus (called "linea nera", black line), from 7:30 am, from Friday to Sunday of the Formula 1 weekend (there isn't on Thursday, if you have to go there to meet the drivers for the "walk about"). But my advice is to avoid this bus, because although it's good that you don't have to pay and you will be with a lot of fans, the traffic is the same and then you realise why it's free: sometimes a long time to wait and it leaves you inside the big park of Monza and you'll have to walk a VERY long road to arrive at the circuit, it will take a lot of time. The same when you have to go away (and you'll also ask yourself: where the fuck is the bus station? :)
So (flashback :), when you are at Monza station, it's better to take bus tickets (a few €uros) at the tobacconist's and go outside on the left side, there's a small garden, a few stairs and a road above ("corso Milano" street). I can see it could be a little complicated at this point, we can go together :), but many people ask me so I have to choose which ones :). When you get this bus (number 221), there could be the same traffic (really annoying, especially when you come back), but it will leave you to a comfortable place, Biassono, near one of the circuit entrances (you will see a landmark with the circuit shape in a little square, there's also a small wall to photograph, with photos and autographs of past and present drivers).
When you have to come back, step off the bus when you see a McDonald's in "corso Milano" street, that is near Monza station.
On Sunday ONLY, there's also a free train from Milan, Stazione Centrale, that even arrives to the circuit (so, no buses at all), but then you realise why it's free: again, the little problem is that it leaves you at Lesmo entrance so you will have to walk a lot, depending on where you're staying in the circuit. Anyway, this train could be good to go there, but my advice is that you avoid it when you have to come back on Sunday afternoon, because you'll find yourself blocked among literally thousands of people trying to use these free trains and you'll have to spend a lot of time in a huge crowd under the sun, you could go mad, also because tired for the long weekend.

prices are a bit high inside the circuit, you know, because they also have to pay Ecclestone :) and the quality is a bit "standard", let's say, classic hot dogs, "salamella" sausage and similar stuff. Also, you'll have to deal with long queues of big-belly hungry Germans, lol.
If you want to eat better things and spend less, here's my trick, when you're on the "final" bus just before arriving at that little square of the autographs wall, step off the bus (Vedano stop, you can also ask the driver) and go to this little town called Vedano al Lambro (the Milano river giving the name to Lambretta), there's a nice "rosticceria" to buy food, and then you're still close to a circuit entrance.
To always have very cold water the whole day, you should put a bottle in the freezer the night before, so it's frozen and it melts slowly during the day.

Remember also to bring a suntan lotion cream, 'cause even if it's September, usually it's still really hot and last year we got tanned more in 4 days than in 2 months of holidays.
Also, avoid those foreign people playing with boxes or cards inside the circuit: they try to get money from you but they're actors (whole families) and when the police comes, they run away.

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