Milan Central Station – Stazione Centrale Milano Trains, Shopping and a Little History
High speed European trains as well as local trains come and go to Milano Centrale. The Italian train lines go practically everywhere in Italy, there are trains to major cities such as Bologna, Naples, Turin, Florence, Rome, Venice and as far down south to Bari, and Reggio Calabria. Local trains with both tourists as well a commuters, go to the many smaller cities and villages in-between. International trains go north to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany or west towards France, Spain and Portugal. If you don’t like flying, provided you had the time, you could easily travel by train in Europe. According to Grandi Stazioni (the managing company) It is reported that about 320,000 passengers a day travel in and out of Milan Central Station. You can check train schedules and ticket prices at www.trenitalia.com
You don’t need to be a student to back pack around Europe. You can get an “Inter Rail” ticket which allows a set number of travel days within a set period of time. There are two types; European which allows international travel or One Country which is just within one country of your choice for example, only travel in Italy or only travel France, Spain etc..
- Ticket offices are on the ground floor
- Shopping, Restaurants (see list below) and services are available at the station
- Lost Property can be claimed around at the town council offices Via Friuli 30 (about 5 km from the station).
- Leave Luggage at KiPoint when you have time to explore, on the ground floor near Piazza Luigi di Savoia (turn left going out of the station, near airport busses).
- Car rental offices of Maggiore and National car rental can be found in the station, as well as underground parking
- There are also public rest rooms (5c coins are needed) , a post office, and a chapel
- The Milan Help Center, Fondazione Exodus association and City Angels are outside at the Piazza Luigi di Savoia (turn left going out of the station)
Metro and Airport Transportation
From Central Station you can get the Milano Metro (MM) either the Yellow Line (MM3) or the Green Line (MM2) which goes to the center of town as well as a network of trams in Piazza IV Novembre (turn right going out of the station). You can also get the Malpensa express train to the Malpensa airport, or shuttle buses or taxis to Malpensa, Linate or Bergamo Orio Serio airports.
Airport buses and taxis are at the south-east exit at Piazza Savoia (turn left going out of the station).
Hotels near Central Station, Stazione Centrale Milano
If you need to stay overnight, there are a number of hotels and hostels near Central Station:
4 & 5 star Hotels
- Hotel PrincipeDi Savoia – one of Milan’s most famous luxury hotels
- Star Hotels Echo – 200 metres from the station, new, eco friendly and modern
- Westin Palace – also located near the station, a luxury hotel where you are sure to find suitable for bussines or pleasure
2 & 3 star Hotels
- Idea Hotel Milano Centrale – 200 meters from the station , modern design
- Hotel Charly – a 5 minute walk from the station, some rooms have balconies over looking the garden.
History of the Milan Central Station
The original Central station stood at what is now the nearby Piazza della Repubblica. The station we use today was opened in 1931 . Designed and constructed by architect Ulisse Stacchini (who also built Stadio San Siro /Giuseppe Meazza ), it is said the original inspiration was Union Station in Washington, DC. The station is a majestic structure of marble and steel. Long canopies cover the 24 platforms and tracks of the incoming trains.
Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922, and had decided that Stazione Centrale should become an icon of the fascist regime, therefore some embellishments and changes were made, resulting in the overwhelming building it is today.
Once upon a time, there were eagle wings and swastikas over the doors and arches. They have only been removed during the last 20 years being replaced by other neutral decorative elements.
The station is not all Fascist; Liberty and Art Deco motifs can also be admired in the marble tiling , mosaics, wall sculptures and lighting fixtures. In 2006 a complete restructuring and modernization project began. Today there are escalators, restaurants, lounge areas, sparkling shop windows and modern electronic ticket counters and travel monitors.
Binario 21 (track 21)
Binario 21 (track 21) has a particular and very sad history. In Jan 30, 1944, 650 Jews, 40 of whom were children, who had been jailed and detained at the San Vittore Prison under fascist law were sent off to Auschwitz. Only about 20 of them returned to their hometown Milan. A young woman by the name of Liliana Sergre was among the survivors and has left her testimonial for future generations. A previous train holding 250 Jews had left a month earlier as well as an additional train the following May 1944. A museum with a wall memorial with the names of the Italian victims now stands and commemoration ceremonies are held to mark the Shoah.
(as of 2013) The Shoah Memorial Museum is still under construction but you can visit the memorial wall on the far end near the chapel.
Binario 21 was also theater to another more recent historical event: Dec 8, 2011 Carmine, Beppe and Oliviero, climbed the light tower 30 meters above binario 21 and stayed there in protest of the lay-off s of an estimated 800 employees of Trenitalia due to the discontinuation of the Wagon Lit train line headed north. The protest continued until February 2012 when Rocco and Stanislao changed places with Oliviero Cassini who had stayed there over a year. Stanislao Focarelli left the tower after 140 days after an agreement to partially reinstate the train service had been reached.
Shops and Restaurants in the station
There is plenty to do if you have to wait for a connection. The station has been renovated and has an abundance of shopping, cafès and restaurants.
Here is a list of shops, cafes and restaurants in Central station Milan:
Beauty & Health
- Bottega Verde
Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Armani Jeans
- Blue Spirit
- Boutique Swarovski
- Le pietre delle meraviglie
- Nina Morena
- Pink Lady
- United Colors of Benetton
Books & Newspapers
- Hudson News
- (various) newsstands and souvenir shops
Cafès, Food & Restaurants
- A cafè
- Bar Centrale
- Bistrot Milano Centrale – my personal favorite, gormet food and take away snacks
- Bar Motta
- Bar Panzera 2010 – ground floor, a new branch of Bar Panzera 1931, which is considered a Bottega Storica (historic establishment)
- Bar Sarf
- Burger King
- Juice Bar – platform level, another one of my favorites for fresh juice and healthy snacks
- Le Goloserie
- Panino Giusto
- Road House
- Segafredo Zanetti Espresso
- Sky Lounge Bar – nice view from upper level
- Time Cafè
- Vyta Boulangerie Italiana