How to get to Milan: in the times of the virus
Almost ninety years after its inauguration, for the first time in its history, Milano Centrale wears a tricolor light. The plant will remain lit every evening until midnight, for the entire duration of the COVID-19 emergency, and every evening the moment of ignition will be underlined by the Italian anthem, audible on the whole Piazza Duca d’Aosta.
It is a tribute that the FS Italiane Group and Milan Central want to pay to the city from one of its symbolic places. It is precisely from Milan Central that the High-Speed line was inaugurated which allowed Italy to unite, grow and develop. And it is from the Centrale, from its majestic spaces and its tracks, that a message of hope and unity starts to start together towards the future.
How to get to Milan: there are several ways to do so, by plane, train, bus, and car. These are the different possibilities. And how to go around the city also
How to get to Milan by plane – Malpensa airport
Malpensa (airport code MXP): is Milan’s largest international airport and with the most passengers. It has two terminals, most of the major airlines use Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is much smaller, and mainly low-cost airlines use it, it’s a major hub for Easyjet.
Transport to Milan: The “Malpensa Express” train service runs from Stazione Cadorna and Stazione Centrale railway station, it’s a 30 minutes ride from Cadorna. The airport has two stations, one each in the terminals. In addition to the Malpensa Express, other trains go North, to Switzerland’s Canton Ticino. Attention: the Terminal 2 train station opened in recent years, many guides and websites listed by Google still don’t know it, they tell you to take a shuttle bus between the two terminals.
Milan-Malpensa by taxi: a fixed € 95 price charge as long as you go direct, no intermediate stops, € 65 if you go to Rho Fiera Milano, € 105 to go to the Linate airport.
The website with all sorts of information on the airport, the flights, bus transportation to Milan and other destinations. General information: +39.02.7485.2200.
The bus terminal in Milan is in Via Giovanni Battista Sammartini, 3, on the West side of the station.
How to get to Milan by plane – Linate airport
Linate (airport code LIN): Transport to Linate bus 73 from Via Gonzaga, behind Piazza Duomo/Piazza Diaz, using the regular ATM ticket € 2.00. Several years ago the bus used to go to San Babila station of the MM1 metro, but this ended due to the construction of the MM4 metro; many websites coming up in top positions in Google still wrongly list this as a possibility. The journey takes 25 minutes. During 2019 the first section of the new metro MM4 running between Linate Airport and the Forlanini station of the suburban train lines should open. Here there are available suburban trains of the S5, S6, and S9 lines. The M4 line will eventually later reach the center of Milan, at the San Babila Station, and continue to the west crossing the city West to the San Cristoforo destination.
The website with all sorts of information on the airport, the flights, and transportation.
How to get to Milan by plane – Orio al Serio Airport.
Orio al Serio (near Bergamo, airport code BGY).
Transport to Orio al Serio from Milan: three bus services leave from Milan Central Station and take up to one hour. These services travel on the A4 autostrada; during peak hours, there is heavy traffic on this road, and travel time can significantly suffer, plan ahead for possible delays.
The website has all sorts of information on the airport, the flights, and transportation to all destinations.
How to get to Milan by train
The main railway station is Central Station, served by Trenitalia, the State Railways, Italo, the private company that operates high-speed trains, and TreNord, the Lombardy regional Railways operator. Regular trains serve all Italian cities (Turin, Venice, Rome, Naples, Florence, and many others), and some European cities (Barcelona, Zurich, Geneva, Munich, Paris, Stuttgart, Zagreb, Vienna). Note that the station is not in a great part of town, though in the area there are a number of decent budget hotels and some business-oriented international brand hotels.
The website milanocentrale.it/ lists all the services available, including Left Luggage and Lost and Found.
The area south of the station is a business and local government center, pretty much active during working hours but almost deserted at night. Should you need a few supplies for your trip, there is a small supermarket on the western side of the station at ground level, as well as cafes and other small shops. Central Station, served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines, is an exciting place to see, since it’s massive and was built in 1930’s style. The area used to be a little degraded, but the local government renovated it. Some guides and webpages listed in Google still don’t know what happened.
Taxis stop directly on the East side of the station, the ATM buses on the Westside (IV November Square), and buses to Malpensa a little further on the Westside (Via Giovanni Battista Sammartini, 3). Years ago the Malpensa bus stop used to be on the East side of the station.
Another important railway station is Milano Cadorna, served by TreNord and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2.
Milano Garibaldi is the terminus for most commuter railway lines and is served by Trenitalia and TreNord. It is also a stop for the MM2 and for the Passante.
Other main train stations are Lambrate, Greco-Pirelli, Rogoredo, Porta Genova, Bovisa and Domodossola. The Domodossola station is very close to the city section of the Milan Exhibition Centre – Fiera Milano city.
How to get to Milan by car
The main highways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:
- A1, named the Autostrada del Sole (Highway of the Sun), links Milan to Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Naples;
- A4 links Milan West to Turin, and East to Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, and Venice;
- A8, named the Autostrada dei Laghi (Highway of the Lakes), links Milan to the Como Lake, the Maggiore Lake, and, through Switzerland, to central Europe.
- A7 links Milan to Genoa.
- A50, named Tangenziale Ovest (West ring road), connects A8, A7, to A1 on the west side of the city.
- A51, named Tangenziale Est (East ring road), connects A1 with A4 on the East side of the city.
The ring roads and the A4 often have very heavy traffic during the working hours.
How to get to Milan by bus
The main national bus lines are operated by Autostradale but there are many other companies offering domestic and international travel. Among them, Flixbus and Ouibus. There are two main bus Terminals around Milan in addition to a few stops:
- In the North-West of the town: Via Giulio Natta. Metro MM1 stop Lampugnano.
- In the South-East of the town: Via G.Impastato. Metro MM3 stop San Donato. The bus operators from San Donato stop also at the Milano Rogoredo train and MM3 metro station.
- In the center, a few bus operators stop at Central Station, in Via Giovanni Battista Sammartini, 3.
- Attention: the former terminals located in Piazza Castello, in front of the Castello Sforzesco and at Stazione Porta Garibaldi are still often quoted on guides and in websites that Google finds and lists. They did not exist for many years.
How to get around in the city
By car: because of the heavy traffic, and the traffic restrictions downtown, I strongly recommend not to drive in Milan during working days. Driving is much better during weekends. Make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system if you must drive in Milan during weekdays.
I recommend that you leave your car in one of the well-marked car parks near the highway ring: they’re managed by ATM and are easily connected with Milan underground lines, but they close at around midnight. They’re near highway exits in Cascina Gobba (East), Lampugnano (West) and San Donato (SouthEast).
The Metro (short for Metropolitana, the logo is a big white M on a red background) has four lines, with the fifth one in construction, near to be put in service. Each commonly identified by color is the best way to get around if you’re near a station. The lines are MM1, red (Rossa); MM2, green (Verde); MM3, yellow (Gialla); MM5, Cyan (viola); MM4, Blue the next one to be opened. The last trains run at around midnight (2 a.m. on Saturday nights).
The Suburban Railway System (the logo is a big green S on a blue background) is a special train line known as Passante. Note that suburban trains run less often than Metro trains (depending on the line, they range from 1 to 4 per hour) but, as some lines share the tracks and the stations, you can expect as many as 10 trains per hour in central Milan between the Lancetti and Porta Vittoria stations. These lines are usually marked with a large blue line on maps. In addition to providing an urban service inside Milan, the major service of the S lines is to connect the suburbs, in a range of 30-50 kilometers from Milano, with frequent stops.
Surface public transportation
Trams run above-ground on rail lines running through the streets. Being above ground means you get a view of what you’re passing, so if you don’t need to go far they’re convenient and fun.
Buses should probably be your third public transport option. Less comfortable than the metro and trams, they have more routes to choose from. ATM Tram and Buses service stops around 2 am. Please note, however, that some lines end their service earlier and some do not have a night service at all. In any case, check your route and timetable in advance if you want to travel late at night.
Filobuses are buses that run on electricity provided by overhanging wires. They have been an ecologically friendly solution to the air pollution of Milan for many decades. The two lines 90 and 91 circle downtown and run also at night. I do not recommend for you to ride them after dark, as there have been many instances of crimes committed on them.
Taxis are pretty expensive, the best ways to catch a taxi is from taxi stands, smartphone APP, or by phone booking.
You can use the “Milano In Taxi” APP, from the City’s government, available for iOS and Android.
The unique number of +39.02.77.77 from the City’s government connects you to taxi services for free.
The main radio taxi companies answer to phone numbers +39.02.40.00, +39.02.53.53, and +39.02.69.69, +39.02.8585, +39.02.8383, +39.02.6767.
Taxi Malpensa phone number is +39.800.911.333.
A unique phone number +39.848.814.781 allows you to be automatically to the nearest taxi stand. It is charged at a local phone charge, but it is only available from wired landlines (both private and public phone), but not from cellular or mobile phone. If you book a taxi by phone, you’ll start paying from the moment the driver accepts the call and comes to pick you up.
You can reserve a taxi on the City’s government’s website www.taxi.comune.milano.it.
Uber service is available in Milan.
How to visit towns in the Greater Milan Metropolitan Area
Suburban cities and towns surrounding Milan are connected by several bus services, in addition to the metro and TreNord regional trains. Some of these buses are managed by ATM. Since the summer of 2019, a new tariff system covering the entire Greater Milan and Monza-Brianza Province went into effect. It is now possible to travel between two localities in the area shown in the map above using multiple transportation systems with a single ticket.
Milan Walking in the city
Walking is definitely a possibility, and although Milan is a large city this is an excellent way of imbibing the culture of the place. No matter how hot the day, one will see elegantly dressed people of both sexes in cutting or perhaps timeless fashion with not a drop of sweat. There are many places to sit, apart from the ubiquitous cafes, especially in the parks. Get a decent map of the city before setting out though, as the roads do not always maintain a straight line, and the various piazza can be confusing to the newcomer. There are dog only areas in the many parks, but one should always be careful when walking as the two things one will see on the ground in the streets are cigarette ends and dog feces.
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy
Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.
The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.
Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.
The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)