When you arrive by train at Milan's central station be prepared to be stunned by the incredible scale and grandeur of the building. The station is housed in a great glass archways, that stretch all along the station building. The station was started in 1912, and finished in 1931 by architect Ulisse Stacchini. It is interesting to note that although there are hints of the rationalistic and functional style that was popular in this era, the exterior of the station is actually a showy collection of sculptures, friezes, marbles, mosaics and ceramic panels. To expect the Milanese to be functional just because it was the fashion of the time would be like expecting a cat to jump willingly into a bath.
Stazione Centrale di Milano is a very interesting piece of architecture. Although begun before WWI, it was not completed until the early 1930s under Mussolini. It is therefore a blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles primarily, with a fair amount of Mussolini's neo-Roman elements and synbols thrown in. The result is fascinating visually and is interesting for the symbolism of Mussolini's regime. Many may criticize the building's symbols and propaganda role as heavy-handed, or its blocky Art-Deco appearance. However, I think this fails to recognize the stunning appearance of the building, its architectural singularity, its historical significance, its value as a blend of Art-Nouveau/Art Deco styles, and the interesting use of Roman symbols in this setting. At the very elast, the building has value as a remnant of history, and one that can provide a fair bit of information about what image Italy's rulers were terying to present, much the same way that Agustus's Ara Pacis in Rome does. Regardless of what one thinks of the Fascist regime, or of this particular type of architecture, therefore, the world is a richer place with this building.
It is also a common point of entrance to the city, so it is easy to see.
There are some interesting things on the high walls – like in this picture we have the 12 signs of the Zodiac….