Mark and Lou's Excellent Adventure travel blog

Milano Centrale

Every railway station cafe should be like this


Reflections on Milano Centrale railway station

Someone should do a documentary on this microcosm of a place. We had a couple of hours to while away, so we entered the Bistrot Centrale, before our train to Cinque Terre.

All manner of sumptuous deli delights including parmigiano Reggiano, lasagne Caprese, fresh pasta and crusty bread rolls filled with mozzarella di buffala and fresh tomatoes - how could we say no? It was a wonderful place to people watch for a time. A lady brought in her pampered Pomeranian - ushered to his own chair. In fact, there were dogs everywhere and being Milan, they were perfectly groomed and accessorised. One dog was desperate to be our friend. He was so cute and had his own travelling bed with handles - perhaps designed by Armani?

Ordering coffee turned out to be a deeply esoteric process involving much frustration on the part of the barista and much bewilderment for his non Italian customers - who are not familiar with the way coffee is done here. You must adapt to the coffee, not the other way around. I didn't think he would cope with an order of a soy chai latte (I suspect that does not exist anywhere in Italy) so I played it safe with a cappuccino, while Mark went with cafe Italiano.

Wandering around to try and find the loos took some navigating and searching the massive cavernous marble building. There were shady characters aplenty - all seeking opportunities to separate the tourists from their tourist euro. Announcements came every 10 minutes to warn everyone of the pickpockets.

I entered the ladies loo - complete with over the top Christmas decorations (in June). Every day is Christmas at Milano Centrale!

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