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Italy Train Travel: Milan Central Station
October 13, 2014
The second largest "Grand Station" in Italy, Milan's Stazione Centrale is my personal favorite station for its elegance and convenience. Built in the late 1920's in Piazza Duca D'Aosta, the building's massive stone facades dominates the piazza. Inside, the architecture is an enchanting blend of Liberty and Art Deco styles with early Fascist nationalism present in the artistic themes of the statues, mosaics, and even the original stone signs on the wall, which include the nationalistic SPQR of early Fascism. Perhaps my favorite feature of the station are the soaring elegant iron canopies that cover the tracks.
The station occupies four floors. Ground transportation arrives and departs from Level 0, where you will also find the ticket office (biglietteria). The train tracks (binario) are located on Level 1, accessible by stairs or by escalators in the very center of the station. On the ground level there are numbered maps to the station listing all of the shops, dining, and services available, including a pharmacy, first aid, police station, and electronics stores. There are many fast food options and cafés bars, even a juice bar, and if you have more time try the Bistrot Centrale on Level 1. The Sky Lounge Bar, accessible from a metal staircase near the pharmacy, overlooks the binarios and has wifi.
The station is served by the Frecciarossa fast train lines, the Frecciabianca direct trains, and regional trains. When traveling on any ticket without a reserved seat you must stamp your ticket in the machines at the beginning of the tracks to validate it before entering the train. If you do not do this you are subject to a fine from the conductor of up to 50 euro. It's a good idea to position yourself along the tracks of your binario in advance of the train's arrival so you can board quickly. Train arrival and departure information is posted on screens throughout the station.