At the moment I took this photo we were just 263 days, 7 hours, 2 minutes and 48 seconds away from the opening of the new high-speed railway line between Milan and Bologna.
The construction of this new stretch of track began in November 2000 and is scheduled to be completed by December 15, 2008.
The new line will be 182 kilometers long, and for part of this distance the trains will be able to travel at up to 300 kilometers per hour.
A train trip from Milan to Bologna will then take exactly an hour, instead of the one hour and 42 minutes that it takes now.
Second photo: Milan's Central Station (Milano Centrale) with the high-speed (Alta Velocità) railroad countdown clock. Now it's only 261 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes and 2 seconds till the opening of the new line.
I used the sleeper train to travel to Milan from Paris and back again after a visit to Venice and also to reach the city centre from the airport. I was very impressed by the central station's size and grand appearance. Despite the size, it was not difficult to find the right platform or connection with the metro as it is very well laid out with clear signs.
We enjoyed the sleeper train journey very much, although having left on a warm summer's day, we kept the window open and woke up shivering in the mountains in the middle of the night. The bedlinen provided was made of a bonded fibre material with some stuffing inside, rather like a giant disposable nappy, but was very comfortable nonetheless and we were amused by the English translation of one of the signs in the train, which informed us that "it is dangerous to put oneself out of the window."
We found the train journey between Venice and Milan very comfortable and our train kept good time, however it turned out that we should have paid a supplement on our pre purchased ticket to use the train that we did and we were charged accordingly when the ticket inspector arrived in our carriage. I'm still not sure if we were charged just the supplementary cost or if we were fined for not purchasing the ticket in advance.
The airport to city service I used on a later visit was extremely convenient and efficient, with regular trains leaving Malpensa airport’s station, which I found well signposted from the arrivals area, for Cadorna station in the city centre, a journey of around three quarters of an hour. Cadorna station has connections with the green and yellow metro lines. The cost for this journey was a little under ten Euros, I think and the carriages were comfortable, with plenty of room for passengers and their luggage.
Milan has the major railway system in Northern Italy, at the center of important national and international lines. The main station is Milano Centrale, which is very near to the center of the city. From here trains leave for all parts of Italy and so do international connections to France, Switzerland, and Germany.
The station of Milano Cadorna serves the Malpensa Express for the airport and the FNM regional direct trains to the north of Milan.For times please consult the Trenitalia site or call the green number 89 20 21
While in Italy I travelled from city to city on the trains - Trenitalia. I used both the Inter City trains and the Eurostar. The Eurostar trains get between destinations faster (as they have fewer stops) and in general are kept in better condition than the Inter City ones. The trains I went on had either restaurant cars or snack bars on board.
After leaving Milan I went to Rome and was on an Inter City train - this took me 6 hours. Next time I think I would take the Eurostar - which only takes 4.5 hours
I had a railpass when I was in Italy, which was very handy. Although on some trips when I wanted to book a seat I had to pay a few euro extra - but it was either that or run the risk of standing up for a few hours. If you plan on doing a bit of train traveling while in Italy, I recommend getting a rail pass as this can save you money.
The website below is very helpful, you can look up timetables of the trains, prices and even book your tickets online.
If you fly into Milan Malpensa, an airport shuttle train called the Malpensa Express is an easy and inexpensive way to get into the city. Take the escalator down one level from the baggage claim to the ticket office. (Forget taking the elevators - they're the size of a broom closet, with 30 people trying to squeeze into them).
It costs 11 euros for a one-way ticket. Don't forget to validate your ticket in the green box on the wall before you get on, and keep your ticket where you can reach it, as a conductor may ask to see it. Check the departure screen for the time and platform. When we were there, the Malpensa Express left every half hour from Platform (Bilmari) #1.
Be aware that there is a small luggage rack inside the entrance to each car, where you must leave your bags. Very large bags might not fit there.
The train takes about 55 minutes to get to Stazione Cadorna. We were lucky enough to be staying within walking distance of Cadorna, but if your destination is in another part of the city, you can pick up the Metro there.
If you want to travel from Milan to the North-West of Lombardia (Como, Varese), to the Malpensa International Airport or to some Piedmontese locations (like Novara), you will probably take a train from the Cadorna station. The trains leaving from this modern railway station, rebuilt in 1956, are not run by the Italian railway operator Trenitalia but by the Lombard operator LeNord ("Northern Railways").
Cadorna is also an important metro station, served by lines 1 (Red) and 2 (Green).
We traveled from Milan to Rome, then to Ancona and back by trains. They have slow once and fast once. Both are Ok to travel, the fast ones are sure the best, and of course twice expensive. I booked all from home, because for some unknown and unexplained reasons Italian side blocked all purchases on line, when I tried to book on line from local web. sites. As I figured out it was easy to buy it at the station too, but it was safer for me to have all my tickets in advance, so I didn’t have to worry for my purse and ticket machine at the same time.
Another thing I like about station in Milan:they have recycling bins, they care not only about customers, but about environment too.
I took the Malpensa Express from Cadorna (Stazione Nord) to Malpensa Airport. The ticket office was just after the entrance to the station and the ticket was 11 Euro (February 2009). During the day the trains leave every half an hour and the ride takes 50 minutes. At Malpensa the train stops at terminal 1. My plane was leaving from terminal 2, which is not within walking distance from terminal 1, but there are free shuttle buses going between the two terminals. When I arrived to Milan I also took the Malpensa Express, but only to Sarrono (as I was going to Como). That ride took 20 minutes and it was 6 Euro.
From Malpensa there are also buses going to Milan Stazione Centrale. They take about an hour. And there are buses to Linate airport as well.
In Como I used the station, Como Lago, which is served by LeNord. Trains from Como Lago station stops at Milan Codorna, which was the train station nearest to my hotel, so it was more convenient for me. The trains from Como Lago to Milan leaves about every half an hour and the ride takes an hour. The ticket was 3.60 Euro (February 2009).
There are faster trains between Como and Milan, but they leave from San Giovanni station in Como and arrive in Milan at Milan Centrale. The central station was further away from my hotel so it had not been more convenient for me to take a fast train.
It is from the central station, Stazione Centrale, the major domestic and international are leaving.
Very nice trains, a smooth ride, and in a quick 50 minutes you hit your spot!
BUT, be warned: don't bank on the trains departing according to the schedule!
*** I was sure it would, thus enabling me to catch my connecting bus to Bratto that only had a 5 minute slot between the changes. However, that was not to be!!!
The train departed 10 minutes late, causing me to miss my Bratto bus. Of course, there was a half-baked option: taking a bus to Clusone, and then walking the 11 miles to Bratto! This is something I had to do, but, the story takes a lovely twist and ends on a pleasant note.
To learn more, read my tip on Clusone!
You can book a train ticket not only from the "Stazione Centrale Milano " but from tourist offices.It is better because you do not have tails to wait and the will give you a lot of Details.Near Duomo is one travel office very friendly in Via Mercanti.
The best way to travel in Italy is by train, are fast, eficient and very confortable. We traveled from Milan to Venice Santa Lucia in Eurostar in second class, the train was very confortable and clean. The trip took 2 hours and 30 minutes. You can travel in first class too, you pay a little more but the difference is not much. We bought the tickets 2 days in advance and we didn´t have any problem
La mejor manera de viajar por Italia es en tren, son rápidos, eficientes y cómodos. Viajamos desde Milan a Venecia Santa Lucia en el Eurostar en segunda clase, el tren era muy cómodo y limpio. Tardamos 2 horas y media en llegar. Tambien puedes ir en primera clase pagando un pco mas pero la diferencia no es mucha. Compramos los billetes 2 días antes del viaje y no tuvimos ningun problema
Milano Centrale is the largest railway station in Milano and one of the largest in Europe. It has over 20 platforms and most trains to the metropole arrive at this station. Only some regional trains leave from and arrive at other stations.
Inside you can see the imposing iron dome covering the tracks as well as some beautiful architecture, such as the gate in the fourth picture.
In Milan, there are two airports, one is Malpensa Airports, located 52km from city centre and the other one is Linate, located only 6km. Most of internation flight will landing or departure from Malpensa, but some of them also from Linate. SO could considered both is international airport.
From/to MALPENSA airport;
1. Train; Remember that Malpensa Express only departure from-to Cadorna-Ferrovie Nord (every 30 minutes and took 40min; charge can be 11 euro). This train station is NOT Milan Centrale. To get there, take Metro Line 2 and 3 only, and stop at Cadorna.
2. MALPENSA bus departure from Milan Centrale (main train station) and take around 60mins. Charge can be 5.50 euro only, departure every 30min.
3. Malpensa Shuttle, also from Milan Centrale (every 20 mins; 5 euro)
4. Taxis; the most expensive can cost you up to 75 euro, and only white taxi! No other taxi. Airport taxi should display 'taxi autorizzato per il servizio aeroportuale lombardo' on the screen.
From/to LINATE airport;
1. The better is taxi and cost only 20 - 25 euro. This WHITE taxi line up outside a terminal (easy to see it).
2. ATM bus No 73 (every 20mins and take 25mins). This bus will go to Piazza San Babila (ticket cost only 1 euro).
3. Coach to Milan Centrale (every 30 mins) cost only 2 euro and take 25 mins.
Malpensa is Spanish (and possibly Italian) for "Bad thought" which is a slightly disturbing omen as you board, but this is a fantastic service that shuttles passengers between the Airport and the City. It departs every 30 minutes from the clearly signposted station at Terminal 1 of the Airport and takes 40 minutes to drop you into the bustling Cadorna station in Milan.
It costs 14.50 Euros for a return trip bought at the ticket office (a bit more expensive if you buy it on the train) and the trains are plush duble decker trains, with plenty of space when we travelled.
The website contains the timetable, prices and other details - in both English and Italian and seems to be kept up to date.