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Milan’s trams: means of transport and tourist attraction

News > Design | Milan’s trams: means of transport and tourist attraction

They like to be photographed by tourists and citizens, immortalized as a symbol of Milan.
At night, they come back to their garages, all together. The ones made out of wood are proud to be vintage.
They are Milan’s trams and theirs is a long story.

The story behind the rails

Milan's trams: means of transport and tourist attraction

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Trams of Milan’s network consist of 18 lines, 170 km-long.
The first tramway was inaugurated in 1876 with the aim of connecting Milan to Monza and it had an animal traction. The line arrived till Porta Venezia, once not-so central. On the following year, in 1877, a second line was inaugurate, this one linking Milan to Saronno.
Tramways not had a single matrix, but belonged to different companies. Moreover, they not cross the city center.
It was the National Exhibition of 1881 to change things. When urban tramways were first opened, they had a radial pattern and they all ended in Piazza del Duomo. This network operated by a single entity, the Public Limited Company of Omnibus (ATM today).
Since then, innovations quickly followed one another until today, when old-style wooden trams go side by side with modern, train-like machines.
Every line has a number: it was engineer Minorini Franco who introduced a number on each vehicle, able to identify the urban lines, and so to facilitate their storage.

Not only transportation, but also the restaurant

Dine on a restaurant onboard a Tram in Milan

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It’s almost impossible not to have chased at least one during your stay in Milan.
But, having eaten on one of them is all another story.
A story that is known as ATMosfera (a pun between ATM and atmosphere): two historical trams converted into moving restaurants with comfy seats and fixed tables. They even come with a kitchen, a cloakroom and a toilet.
ATMosfera travels only on evenings and only by reservation. The journey may undergo some changes, but it always tends to accompany his guests to the most charming places of the centre of Milan. It starts in Piazza Castello to get in front of the Duomo and reach the skyscrapers of Gae Aulenti.

Trams’ funny facts

Yellow tram Milan

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  • ·The people of Milan know their numbers, especially when it comes to trams. Everyone has their favourite line and at the top there’s (duh) line number 1, whose path is pretty cool with all its iconic landmarks ( Arco della Pace, Castello Sforzesco, Piazza della Scala, Piazza Duomo, Central Station.)
  • The oldest trams are yellow. A colour that, with the passing of time, has been identified as “Milan’s yellow)
  • Milan’s SPA treasures a quite old specimen of a tram, because it once was a pretty important garage
  • Milan’s icon has flown overseas, to inspire California’s almost identical means of transportation.

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