Milano Centrale railway station

Milano Centrale (Italian: Stazione di Milano Centrale) is the main railway station of the city of Milan, Italy, and is the second railway station in Italy for passenger flow[3] (after Roma Termini) and the largest railway station in Europe by volume.[4]

Milano Centrale
An ornate and extensively detailed gray stone classical portico with four sets of twinned columns at the top of which the Italian and European Union flags hang limply; above is clear blue sky. In front is a more modern one-story pavilion with an elevator in front of it inside a circular wall. Some people can be seen walking around.
Main entrance portico on Piazza Duca d'Aosta, 2022
General information
LocationPiazza Duca d'Aosta
20124 Milan
Coordinates45°29′10″N 09°12′13″E / 45.48611°N 9.20361°E / 45.48611; 9.20361
Owned byRete Ferroviaria Italiana
Operated byGrandi Stazioni
ArchitectUlisse Stacchini
Other information
IATA codeXIK[1]
Fare zoneSTIBM: Mi1[2]
Opened1 July 1931; 92 years ago (1931-07-01)
Electrified1938 (1938)
120 million per year
Milano Centrale is located in Milan
Milano Centrale
Milano Centrale
Location in Milan Central
Milano Centrale is located in Lombardy
Milano Centrale
Milano Centrale
Location in Lombardy
Milano Centrale is located in Northern Italy
Milano Centrale
Milano Centrale
Location in Northern Italy
Milano Centrale is located in Italy
Milano Centrale
Milano Centrale
Location in Italy

The station is a terminus and located at the northern end of central Milan. It was officially inaugurated in 1931 to replace the old central station (built 1864), which was a transit station that could not handle the increased traffic caused by the opening of the Simplon Tunnel in 1906 due to the old station's limited number of tracks and space.

Milano Centrale has high-speed connections to Turin in the west, Venice via Verona in the east and on the north–south mainline to Bologna, Rome, Naples and Salerno. The Simplon and Gotthard railway lines connect Milano Centrale to Basel and Geneva via Domodossola and Zürich via Chiasso in Switzerland.

Destinations of inter-city and regional railways radiate from Milano Centrale to Ventimiglia (border of France), Genova, Turin, Domodossola (border of Swiss Canton of Valais/Wallis), Tirano (border of Swiss Canton of Graubünden/Grisons), Bergamo, Verona, Mantova, Bologna and La Spezia.

The Milan suburban railway service, however, does not use Milano Centrale but the other mainline stations: Porta Garibaldi (northwest), Cadorna (west) and Rogoredo (east).

Architect Aldo Rossi declared in an interview of February 1995 to Cecilia Bolognesi:[5] "They told me that when Frank Lloyd Wright came to Milan, and he came only once, he was really impressed by it and said it was the most beautiful station in the world. For me it is also more beautiful than Grand Central Station in New York. I know few stations like this one".



The first Milano Centrale station opened in 1864 in the area now occupied by the Piazza della Repubblica, south of the modern station.[6] It was designed by French architect Louis-Jules Bouchot[7] (1817–1907) and its architectural style was reminiscent of Parisian buildings of that period. The station was designed to replace Porta Tosa station (opened in 1846 as the terminus of the line to Treviglio and eventually Venice) and Porta Nuova station (opened in 1850 as the second terminus on the line to Monza, which was eventually extended to Chiasso) and was interconnected with all lines, either existing or under construction, surrounding Milan. It remained in operation until 30 June 1931, when the current station was opened. There is now no trace of the old station left.

King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy laid the cornerstone of the new station on 28 April 1906, before a blueprint for the station had even been chosen. The last, real, contest for its construction was won in 1912 by architect Ulisse Stacchini, whose design was modeled after Washington Union Station in Washington, DC,[8] and the construction of the new station began. The purported style was an eclectic mix called "Assyrian-Lombard."[9]

Due to the Italian economic crisis during World War I, construction proceeded very slowly, and the project, rather simple at the beginning, kept changing and became more and more complex and majestic. This happened especially when Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister, and wanted the station to represent the power of the Fascist regime.[10] The major changes were the new platform types and the introduction of the great steel canopies by Alberto Fava; 341 m (1,119 ft) long and covering an area of 66,500 square metres (716,000 sq ft).

Construction resumed in 1925, and on 1 July 1931 the station was officially opened in the presence of Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano.[11]

The station played a major role during the Holocaust in Italy, when Jewish inmates from the San Vittore Prison, previously captured in northern Italy, would be taken to a secret track, Binario 21, underneath the station to be deported to extermination camps. Altogether, 15 deportation trains with 1,200 prisoners left the station from Binario 21. A Memoriale della Shoah was opened at the former platform in January 2013 to commemorate these events.[12][13]

Its façade is 200 metres (660 ft) wide and its vault is 72 metres (236 ft) high, a record when it was built. It has 24 platforms. Each day about 330,000 passengers use the station, totaling about 120 million per year.

The station has no definite architectural style, but is a blend of many different styles, especially Liberty and Art Deco, but not limited to those. It is adorned with numerous sculptures. "The 'incongruous envelope of stone' (Attilio Pracchi) of this gigantic and monumental building dominates Piazza Duca d'Aosta."[14]

On 25 September 2006 officials announced a 100 million project, already in progress, to refurbish the station. Of the total cost, €20 million has been allocated to restore "certain areas of high artistic value" while the remaining €80 million will be used for more general improvements to the station to make it more functional with the current railway services. The project includes moving the ticket office and installing new elevators and escalators for increased accessibility.[15]

There remain unrestored and inaccessible areas to the public within the station, including a waiting room with swastikas on the floor designed to receive Adolf Hitler.[9]

Swastika in the floor of the Royal Hall of the Milan Central Station
The Royal Hall designed in 1931 by the architect Ulisse Stacchini

Train services


The station has 24 tracks. Every day about 320,000 passengers pass through the station using about 500 trains, for an annual total of 120 million passengers. The station is served by national and international routes, with both long-distance and regional lines. Daily international destinations include Basel, Lugano, Geneva, Zürich, Paris, Vienna, Marseille and Munich.[16] The station is also connected to Milan-Malpensa Airport through the Malpensa Express airport train.

The following services call at the station (incomplete):

Domestic (High-speed)

  • High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Turin-Salerno: Turin Porta Nuova - Turin Porta Susa - Milano Centrale - Milan Rogoredo - Bologna Centrale - Florence S.M.Novella - Rome Tiburtina - Rome Termini - Naples Centrale - Salerno
  • High speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Milan-Bari: Milan - Bologna - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia – Bari
  • High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciarossa) Milan-Venice: Milan - Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona - Vicenza - Padua - Venice
  • High-speed train (Italo NTV) Turin-Salerno: Turin - Milan - Bologna - Florence - Rome - Naples - Salerno
  • High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Turin-Venice: Turin - Novara - Milan - Brescia - Verona - Vicenza - Padua - Venice - (Trieste)
  • High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Piacenza - Parma - Reggio d'Emilia - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Pesaro - Ancona - San Benedetto del Tronto - Pescara - Termoli - Foggia - Bari - Brindisi - Lecce
  • High-speed train (Trenitalia Frecciabianca) Milan-Bari/Taranto: Milan - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Taranto



For regional (Regio) trains to Monza and Como from Milano Centrale, refer to the 'cross-border' services. There is no train of Milan Suburban railway service at Milano Centrale station, except for two late night S8 trains bound to Lecco, which serve the last passengers arriving to the station with long distance train.

  • Airport train (Trenord Malpensa Express) Milan-Malpensa Airport: Milan - (Busto Arsizio) - Malpensa Airport
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Piacenza - Parma - Modena - Bologna - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Trani - Bari - Fasano - Brindisi - Lecce
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Taranto: Milan - Lodi - Piacenza - Parma - Reggio Emilia - Modena - Bologna - Faenza - Cesena - Rimini - Riccione - Pesaro - Senigalla - Ancona - Giulianova - Pescara - Termoli - Foggia - Trani - Bisceglie - Bari - Taranto
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Livorno: Milan - Pavia - Tortona - Genova Piazza Principe - Genova Brignole - Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino - Rapallo - Chiavari - Sestri Levante - Levanto - Monterosso - La Spezia Centrale - Massa Centro - Viareggio - Pisa Centrale - Livorno Centrale
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia Intercity) Milan-Ventimiglia: Milan - Pavia - Genova - San Remo - Ventimiglia
  • Night train (Trenitalia Intercity Notte) Milan-Lecce: Milan - Piacenza - Parma - Reggio d'Emilia - Modena - Bologna - Cesena - Rimini - Ancona - Pescara - Foggia - Bari - Trani - Brindisi - Lecce
  • Regional train (Trenitalia Regionale Veloce) Turin-Milan: Turin - Vercelli - Novara - Milan
  • Regional train (Trenitalia Regional) Milan-Alessandria: Milan - Pavia - Voghera - Tortona - Alessandria
  • Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Verona: Milan - Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona
  • Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Tirano: Milan - Lecco - Sondrio - Tirano
  • Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Mantua: Milan - Lodi - Codgono - Cremona - Piadana - Mantova
  • Regional train (Trenord Regio) Milan-Bergamo: Milan - Treviglio - Bergamo
  • Historic train (Fondazione FS/Trenitalia Storico) Milan-Varallo: Milan - Novara - Varallo Sesia

Cross-border (Night train)


(CH for Switzerland, D for Germany, A for Austria, MN for Monaco)

The following train has been moved to stop at Milano Lambrate railway station and Milano Porta Garibaldi railway station in 2020:

  • Night train (ÖBB Nightjet) Milan-Munich/Vienna: Milan - Brescia - Peschiera del Garda - Verona^ - (Rovereto/Rofreit) - (Trento/Trient) - Bolzano/Bozen - (Brennero/Brenner) - Innsbruck (A) - Jenbach (A) - Kufstein (A) - Munich (D)

This train connects at Verona with ÖBB Nightjet/EuroNight Rome-Vienna: the train splits into two parts (first half couples with ÖBB Rome-Vienna and leaves for Vienna or Rome; second half continues to Munich or Milan). Vienna-Rome splits into two trains (first half continues to Rome or Vienna; second half couples with the train for Milan or Munich).



After the opening of Gotthard Base Tunnel in December 2016, train services between Milan and Switzerland increased in frequency. All SBB-CFF-FSS Eurocity (operates by Trenitalia in Italy) now save 35 minutes of total journey time between Bellinzona and Arth-Goldau.

From December 2017, a new cross-border service Milan-Frankfurt (Trenitalia-DB-SBB Eurocity) via Zürich will be operational.

From December 18, 2021, a new service Paris-Milan with Frecciarossa is opened.

  • Regional train (Trenord TiLo Regio) Milan-Bellinzona: Milan - Monza - Como (San Giovanni) - Chiasso (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Bellinzona (CH)
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia-SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Geneva-Milan/Venice: Geneva/Genf (CH) - Lausanne (CH) - Brig (CH) - Domodossola - Milan - (Brescia) - (Verona) - (Padua) - (Venice)
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia-SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Basel-Milan: Basel SBB (CH) - Bern/Berne (CH) - Thun (CH) - Brig (CH) - Domodossola - Stresa - Busto Arsizio - Milan
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia-SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Zürich-Milan: Zürich (CH) - Zug (CH) - Arth-Goldau (CH) - Bellinzona (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Chiasso (CH) - Como (San Giovanni) - Monza - Milan
  • Intercity train (Trenitalia-SBB-CFF-FSS EuroCity) Luzern-Milan: Luzern (CH) - Arth-Goldau (CH) - Bellinzona (CH) - Lugano (CH) - Chiasso (CH) - Como (San Giovanni) - Monza - Milan

The station is the terminus of the Milan–Paris Frecciarossa,[17][18] which was inaugurated on 18 December 2021.[17][19]

Preceding station Trenitalia Following station
Terminus Frecciarossa Milano Rogoredo
Torino Porta Nuova Terminus
Terminus Brescia
toward Basel SBB
towards Nice-Ville
Thello Terminus
TerminusIntercity Notte
toward Lecce
toward Lecce
Treno regionaleTerminus
Preceding station Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori Following station
Torino Porta Susa Torino–Salerno Milano Rogoredo
towards Salerno
Treno regionaleTerminus
toward Bergamo


Malpensa Aeroporto Terminal 2
Malpensa Aeroporto Terminal 1
Ferno-Lonate Pozzolo
Busto Arsizio Nord
Milano Bovisa
Milano Cadorna
Milano Porta Garibaldi
Milano Centrale

The station, along with Roma Termini and Firenze Santa Maria Novella, has security gates, normally free flowing, though supervised by agents.

Each platform is usually dedicated to some particular route. The current organization is as follows, although temporary changes may occur.

Unusual track layout


On the northern side of the railway yard, there used to be a loop curve so that trains could turn around and reverse back into the station. The trains could so be displaced from the left side of the station to the right side and vice versa without crossing all the tracks. The tracks on the loop curve are now partially broken up.[20]



See also



  1. ^ "Airport codes Milano (Milan), Italy (IT) | ICAO, IATA codes, location of airports of Airport codes Milano (Milan), Italy (IT) | latitude, longitude airports of Airport codes Milano (Milan), Italy (IT) | coordinates of airports of Airport codes Milano (Milan), Italy (IT) | International codes and coordinates of all airports in the world | International codes and coordinates of all airports in Airport codes Milano (Milan), Italy (IT)". Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Servizio Ferroviario Suburbano". Muoversi in Lombardia. Regione Lombardia. April 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  3. ^ Data from (July 2007)
  4. ^ "La Stazione Centrale di Milano: la più grande in Europa". Retrieved 1 October 2023.
  5. ^ Aldo Rossi, Luoghi Urbani, Unicopli 1999, p. 31
  6. ^ see also Milano Repubblica railway station
  7. ^ Maulsby, Lucy M. (January 2014). Fascism, Architecture, and the Claiming of Modern Milan, 1922 1943. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781442646254.
  8. ^ "Design". RETOURS. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b Daverio, Philippe. Lombardy. Milan: RCS Libri, 2015. p 47.
  10. ^ "Bombastic Sculptures". RETOURS. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  11. ^ The New Central Station at Milan Railway Gazette 11 September 1931 pages 331-341
  12. ^ "Mailand" (in German). Gedenkorte Europa 1939–1945. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  13. ^ Bridget Kevane (29 June 2011). "A Wall of Indifference: Italy's Shoah Memorial". The Jewish Daily Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ Touring Club Guida di Milano, p. 471
  15. ^ "100mln Euros to requalify Milan Railway Central Station". AGI. 2006-09-25. Archived from the original on January 5, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-28.
  16. ^ "International Destinations". Ferrovie dello Stato. Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Il viaggio del primo Frecciarossa Milano-Lione-Parigi" [The journey of the first Frecciarossa Milan-Lyon-Paris]. Rai News (in Italian). 18 December 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  18. ^ "Trenitalia, partiti oggi i primi Frecciarossa che collegano Parigi con Milano, passando per Porta Susa" [Trenitalia: The first Frecciarossa trains connecting Paris with Milan, passing through Porta Susa, left today]. Torino Oggi (in Italian). 18 December 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  19. ^ Felice, Federica (26 December 2021). "Frecciarossa Torino-Parigi, dopo il debutto tutti i dettagli su orari e tariffe" [Frecciarossa Turin-Paris: After the debut, all the details on timetables and fares]. Torino Free (in Italian). Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  20. ^ Can easily be seen on Google Earth and most old maps