The Old Fogies ride the Number 1 tram in Milan

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The transport system in Milan is quite extensive, albeit difficult for a visitor to understand as there are no real maps of the entire system.  On the day following our arrival in Milan we purchased a 48-hour travel pass, cost of which is only 8.25 Euro per person, again I had to negotiate the ticket machine, but they are really easy to work.  This ticket allows full access to all Milan’s transport options including, buses, trams and the metro, it is important to note that you must validate your ticket at the start to prevent inspector fines.

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The number 1 tram goes from Piazza Firenze to the centre of Milan and as it’s number indicates was probably the first tram route, although this is guess work, the trams were certainly not as modern as other trams on the network. 

Each tram stop has a map showing where the tram goes and an electronic indicator telling you when the tram is due to arrive, as a side note you need to be careful crossing the roads as the tram line traverse many of the streets, remember they travel on the opposite side of the road than in Britain.

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Waiting for the number 1 tram at Piazza Firenze, Mr Curmudgeon and I see the tram in the distance coming towards us, as it stops I notice that the platform is extremely high, I said to Mr Curmudgeon how am I going to get onto that, he looked at me and obviously he had the same thought, oh well in for a penny in for a pound.  As the tram stopped ingeniously the doors opened and the platforms appeared out of the tram, breathing a sigh of relief we both step up into the tram itself.

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Having validated the tickets previously, we did not have to put them in the machine, the Number 1 tram goes up Via Sempione, which is a broad avenue from Piazza Firenze to the wonderful Parco Sempione, which is really worth a wander through, a special mention must made of the large arch at the front of the Parco.

The tram is slow and makes an amusing noise when stationary, but then appears to cut out and you wonder if the tram has broken down.  Mr Curmudgeon and I smiled at each other every time this happened, as we both thought this was very amusing.  As the tram regally travels up Via Sempione you have a wonderful view of the fine architecture, although like most Italian cities we have been to this is spoilt by the graffiti adorning the walls.  I am not talking graffiti that is wonderful to look at, i.e. a Banksy, but rather scrawls and random words, although they may mean something to the person who did them.  It is such a shame that Italian authorities have not taken the same action of many of our British local governments have, which is zero tolerance and graffiti is removed immediately which deters its production.

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Having reach the top of Via Sempione and wondered at the magnificent arch, well worth more than a quick glance, we traverse a number of streets, all rich in Italian architecture, but it was very hot over 30 degrees in the sun, so we couldn’t do our normal walking.  At the centro end of the Parco is the wonderful Castello Sforzesco, you just catch glimpses of this magnificent 15th century fort.  The tram remorselessly traverses the streets, although to the untutored eye, that would be Mr Curmudgeon and I have to say Mrs Nice as well, they all look very similar. 

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As you get into the centro district you notice the streets get narrower and more difficult for the tram to travel, but eventually you get to La Scala, more later on this venue, Mr Curmudgeon and I get off the tram to start our walk around the Piazza Scala, the Galleria and the marvellous Duomo. 

Part of travelling is to have interesting experiences and often transport can be boring, the number 1 tram is a slow but fascinating ride through this wonderful city.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London Guide.com here.

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