Whatever you decided to do, now it’s time to get on the tram… Make yourself comfortable! Your real journey through the city starts now… Look around, it doesn’t even seem you are in Italy! This area is called la qasba because all different ethnic groups living here have given their personal touch.
Do you see those trees in the distance? Those are Giardini Pubblici(the Public Gardens), located on the same side of bastioni di Porta Venezia (Porta Venezia bulwarks), which are a part of the old city walls that the Spanish built more than 500 years ago! When you get to Piazza della Repubblica look out of the windows… Do you still see the train station? You can barely see it, and yet it is huge!
Two stops more and you will be in Piazza Cavour. Your tram is now going to pass under those arches… It is the ancient Porta Nuova, almost 700 years old! Beyond those walls you will find yourself to be in the historical city-centre. Beautiful buildings everywhere and everything is softer… Look at the street, there is no asphalt anymore but pavé… The old typical Milan paving…
Another two stops and you will see the charming Piazza della Scala, whose name is due to the historic presence, on the right, of the most enViable theatre of the world, Teatro alla Scala whilst on your left you can see Palazzo Marino framing the square. Straight on, by the side of the palace, the immense archway of Milan arcade, Galleria di Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, which takes you straight to Piazza del Duomo.
If you have never walked through this beautiful gallery, do it now! You can get off the tram and walk… You will see from close up the most crowded square, then, passing by the Duomo, in Via dei Mercanti, you will see a square having the same name (Piazza dei Mercanti) and in Via Tommaso Grossi you will be able to get back onto the tram.
On the contrary, if you decided to stay at your ease on the tram you will soon arrive at a crossroads: on the left the statue of a famous freedom defender (Carlo Cattaneo) and on the right Via Broletto. This is the oldest area of the city. It is said that about 2400 years ago there was a wide grassland (Brolo-Broletto) and that right here, ancient people coming from France decided to found a city, Milan!
After turning left, you will see a big widening with no less a statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi in the middle. If you watch closely, you may see straight in front of you the brick-walls of Castello Sforzesco with its keeps! Behind the castle there is a huge park, Parco Sempione! If after seeing the statue of Garibaldi riding his horse, you have started wondering about past adventures, you can get off the tram and have a walk through the castle courtyards… Close by you will reach the beautiful fountain in front of the Filarete tower… Walk below the arch without any fear…
If you have decided to stay aboard, on your left you can see a big green modern building… What is that? It’s Stazione Nord (North railway station), second in importance… And what about that tangle of coloured threads? If you peer intently you will realize it is a single multi-coloured and huge thread! There is a huge needle as well, almost 20 meters tall! It is a sculpture called Ago, Filo e Nodo (Needle, Thread and Knot). Get off to see it from close up! And if you decided to have a stroll and see Castello courtyards, you can reach this place on foot, walking along the Castello, in Via Minghetti.
Now your tram, having leaving Virgilio square behind, will slowly take you down a tree-lined avenue, Viale Vincenzo Monti and then through Via Mario Pagano, to take you to the opposite part of Parco Sempione.
Here in Piazza Sempione, underneath the majestic Arco della Pace – 25 meters high – your journey comes to an end. Are you tired of sitting down? Do you want to stretch your legs? Well, there is no better place… you have an empty square at your disposal, a huge park and a castle as well. On the opposite side a nice pedestrian area full of bars where you can have refreshing drinks… Enjoy!
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