Everyone agrees that train delays are an epic pain, but I cherish the moments when I am forced to wait around Milano Centrale, Milan’s Central train station. To be blunt, Milano Centrale is a bad ass train station of monumental architecture and design.
Inside and out, Milano Centrale is treasure hunt of amazing artwork, and every time I travel through Milano Centrale, I make sure to give myself at least an hour to explore and photograph the details like the mosaic cityscapes which feature cities with train terminals like Rome’s Termini station, and depict the discovery of fire, transportation and radio. There are colossal columns, art deco lams and random details like winged railway wheels, Roman fasces and bas relief featuring scenes of the foundation of Rome. If you look closely in its 10,000 cubic meters of marble you’ll find a menagerie of mythological creatures like mythological horses, lions, bulls and eagles, shrugging Atlases and open mouths that double as fountains .
Conceived by architect Ulisse Stacchini in 1912, the design of Milano Centrale underwent a few tweaks and amplifications until before its blockbuster July 1, 1931 opening, and it still wows you pomp and circumstance. The dimensions are insane: 11,000 cubic meters of gorgeous white marble, a façade of 200 metres (286 feet) wide, the arrival room ceiling vault is 40 metres high and modeled after the ancient baths of Caracalla, and the glass and steel canopy arches cover a s pace large enough to fit ten football (soccer) fields or approximately 66,500 square metres (716,000 sq ft).
Shoah Memorial of Milan
Walk around Milano Centrale to the south side and you’ll find Binario 21. It was here from 1943 to 1945 that Jews were corralled en masse before being sent off in cattle cars to Nazi concentration. Today, the platform, (and the subterranean train yard of twenty–four parallel tracks laid out across two levels) is the Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust memorial that guides visitors through the painful, important history via multimedia exhibition that includes recorded stories and interviews of the victims, the Wall of Names immortalising the deported, and more.