Tuesday, January 10, 2017


After one week closed inside, sick and bored, we decided during our Christmas holidays to visit a cool place nearby my parents' house. A flight museum called Volandia. The museum is placed in the old sheds that were used for the Caproni, one of the pioneer Italian planes industries built around the second last turn of the century.
Nice buildings are around the area and the museum is spread over an enormous space, just next to the Malpensa airport.
Beautiful old buildings

The old buildings connected to Caproni
Lately, the Ogliari Transportation Museum has been added to the whole museum. For me that was very interested, but sadly, the kids were not (strangely) very up to it. They were more attracted from the playground with nice flight theme.
The Ogliari Transportation Museum is outdoor, so probably it is best to be visited during spring. There are all sort of old vehicles and peculiar things. Like old trains wagons, including the Pope one used by Pio IX, but even trolley, tram and motorbikes.
Some very old steam locomotive
The Pope wagon
Since the transportation museum joined the collection, also an humongous plastic model of a city has reached Volandia and, the "Ideal city" (that is how it is called) welcomes the visitors in the first room that can be reached after the entrance.
The ideal city
One can spend just one hour looking at every detail... 

Details of the ideal city
The problem with Volandia is that it is huge. There is a section devoted to Caproni's history with the first planes built there (among which the first plane that flew at Malpensa the 27th of May 1910), then there are sheds reserved to helicopters, with several helicopters including the huge ones used by the Italian army and one reserved to planes. There are the uniforms to be observed, a balloon, and different planes from small ones to bigger ones like the DC3.
We strolled fast through these two big areas which with time and patience reserve a lot of interesting details about different planes and their history.
The first plane that flew at Malpensa 

Old Caproni's planes
There are also two bigger modern planes outside. One is the Pertini (one of the Italian presidents) Republic plane which will be accessible/available for a more complete visit in March 2017, while now one can just look a bit at it from distance.
There is a shed devoted to thousands of plane models (which we didn't see), an indoor play area (which we just went by very quickly), a restaurant (where we bought candies as snack) and a cafe' (which was closed when we wanted to eat something).
There is then a pavilion with space as subject,  one for flight simulators and one for future planes. We didn't manage to see any of these since the kids were cold and tired, being the first time out after several  days. And we were there for several hours...
All together, the place is huge and worth a visit. Probably more than one, since there is so much to see and appreciate. For small kids it can be a bit of a killer since the interaction can be limited. Of course, going into the helicopter was a big plus, but walking through rooms full of items, planes and text is not that funny.
It is good that by walking a little bit one can also check flights landing or departing from Malpensa airport. A nice good spot for planes spotting ;-)
Considering that Oscar usually like planes and all sort of vehicles, Isabella is moderated interested, I am surely quite nerdy and Mattias likes planes from WWII and modern jet planes, I suspect that we will visit the place again and maybe check out the other parts we didn't visit at all at this occasion.

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