Milan - tram routes through central downtown

In Milan's Metro system, the most number of lines that overlap and interchange at any one spot is just two - there is no point where many Metro lines converge. A large number of trams, on the other hand, all head towards the downtown area, aiming for the very heart of old Milan's Centro Storico.

Tram at Piazza del Duomo passing the front of Milan Cathedral
Tram passing Milan Cathedral at Piazza del Duomo. Image Credit: ATM.it

While it is true that Milan Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo is the very heart of the city, and it is also certainly the case for the tram system of Milan; almost as many trams converge on Piazza Cordusio one stop away just a short distance to the northwest of the Cathedral - and what is more, probably the most important tram for tourists, appropriately denominated Tram 1 in Milan's system, goes through Piazza Cordusio and passes near Milan Cathedral without touching the Piazza del Duomo at all. But as a matter of fact, apart from Tram 1, all trams that pass through Piazza Cordusio, also continue on to Piazza del Duomo.

best tram map of Milan at Urbanrail.net
The best tram map of Milan is at the Milano tram system page at Urbanrail.net. Look there for the link to the full Milan tram system map.


Piazza Cordusio is a downtown hub of tram routes


So, let us first take a look at the trams that pass through Piazza Cordusio:

-  Tram 1 passes through many of the spots important to all visitors to Milan: Sempione, Arco della Pace - Arch of Peace, Cadorna, Piazza Cordusio and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, both near Milan Cathedral at the Piazza del Duomo, La Scala opera theatre, Montenapoleon, Piazza della Repubblica, Giardini Pubblici, and then north to an area near Milano Centrale Station. (Interactive route map of Tram 1 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 2 comes from the north (Bovisa, Lancetti, Isola, Porta Garibaldi, Lanza M2 Metro Station) and ends up heading southwest to Porta Genova and along the Navigli Grande canal. (Interactive route map of Tram 2 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 12 comes from the north (from the faraway northwest Roserio, gateway to the new Fiera di Milano grounds, home of World Expo, passing Sempione, Chinatown and Lanza M2 Metro Station) and ends up heading east to Piazza Cinque Giornate and the Porta Vittoria district. (Interactive route map of Tram 12 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 14 comes from the north (also from the northwest, the sombre Cimitero Maggiore, and once in the Sempione district follows the same path as Tram 12 to Piazza Cordusio) and ends up heading southwest to Piazzale Cantore (site of the previous Porta Genova), and then all the way parallel to the Navigli Grande to its north, past the Milano San Cristoforo railway station, to its faraway terminus of Lorenteggio. (Interactive route map of Tram 14 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 16 comes from the west (from its northwest terminus at the famed San Siro Stadium, then diagonally southeast to Piazza Angeli, near Piazza Wagner, through the important Piazza Piemonte, along the major thoroughfares of Corso Vercelli and Corso Magenta towards the centre of downtown) and then heads southeast to its terminus at the large wholesale Ortomercato. (Interactive route map of Tram 16 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 27 comes from the west (starting not far away in the northwest from the Piazza Sei Febbraio just beyond Parco Sempione, then past Cadorna Station by traveling parallel to the Cadorna Station railway tracks coming from the north, before taking Corso Magenta towards the centre of downtown) and after passing the Piaza del Duomo, it heads due east, through Piazza Cinque Giornate and the Porto Vittoria district all the way until it passes next to the Milano Forlanini railway station used for suburban commuter services, then changing direction southeast to the Monlue/Mecenate district where it terminates. (Interactive route map of Tram 27 at Milano-Italia.it)

Milan Piazza Cordusio tram lines converge at hub
Tram lines meeting at Piazza Cordusio. Image Credit: JasonParis @ Flickr.com





Piazza del Duomo, Milan Cathedral, the central focus for Milan and for its trams 

(with a further four terminating tram routes that do not pass through Piazza Cordusio)

While Tram 1 passes close by Piazza del Duomo, all the others mentioned so far also stop by the Piazza del Duomo at the Milan Cathedral grounds. However, there are even more trams than this that use the Piazza del Duomo, as there are trams which have their termini at or by the side of the Milan Cathedral grounds, whose destinations are to the south or to the east, and never have to pass through Piazza Cordusio:

Tram 3 terminates in front of the Piazza del Duomo just beside the Piazza Mercanti. From there, Tram 3 heads down the vibrant Via Torino, and then on an almost direct southerly path for some contemporary fashion shopping down Corso di Porta Ticinese to Porta Ticinese, and eventually to its terminus, Gratosoglio far in the south. (Interactive route map of Tram 3 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 24 terminates by Piazza del Duomo, just to the south of the piazza in the block between it and the Piazza Armanda Diaz. From there, Tram 24 also eventually heads due south almost parallel to Tram 3, but instead of the Via Torino, it first heads southeast down the Corso di Porta Romana, before changing due south at Corso di Porta Vigentina, which then becomes the very long Via Ripamonti from which Tram 24 never again deviates all the way until it reaches its terminus in the far southern extremity of Vigentino. (Interactive route map of Tram 24 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 15 and Tram 23 have a terminus at Piazza Fontana near the southeastern corner of Piazza del Duomo.

Tram 15 also goes to the far southern stop of Gratosoglio same as Tram 3, but continues even further south. Its path, even beyond the external ring road is different to that of Tram 3: starting on its journey down south along Corso Italia instead of Corso di Porta Ticinese, and crosses the inner ring road at Porta Lodovica (east of Porta Ticinese), and the external ring road not far from Bocconi University, before joining up with the Tram 3 line at Abbiategrasso, then south up to and beyond the Tram 3 terminus at Gratosoglio, past the large Fiordaliso shopping mall, so far south that it actually goes under Milan's ring road of motorway bypasses shortly before terminating in Rozzano. (Interactive route map of Tram 15 at Milano-Italia.it)

Tram 23's destination is in the northeast of Milan: Lambrate Station. Tram 23 begins from Piazza Fontana by heading west along the Corso di Porta Vittoria. At the Piazza Cinque Giornate (site of the previous Porta Vittoria), Tram 23 turns left, and heads north along the route of the inner ring road. Before reaching Porta Venezia, Tram 23 turns right into Via Bixio to start heading towards the Citta Studi area. Tram 23 enters Citta Studi at Piazza Ascoli, and cuts diagonally northeast through the Citta Studi quarter. This tram line (shared with Tram 33) is the only tram line that serves the centre of Citta Studi. Once Tram 23 hits important railway tracks, it is almost at Lambrate Station, and only needs to turn left and travel a short distance before terminating right in front of the station. Milano Lambrate railway station is a stop for many regional services as well as the the S9 suburban commuter line, and the M2 Lambrate FS Metro Station lies below it (coming from the M2 Metro stations of Cadorna, Porta Garibaldi, Centrale, and heading towards the far northeastern suburbs). (Interactive route map of Tram 23 at Milano-Italia.it)





There is one other tram terminus reasonably close to the centre, and that is for Tram 4 that terminates at Piazza Castello right in front of the historic Sforza Castle, just 500m away on a straight path northwest from Piazza Cordusio. Tram 4 runs north all the way to Niguarda (gateway to the huge open Parco Nord); passing by Porta Garibaldi and Isola along the way. (Interactive route map of Tram 4 at Milano-Italia.it)

And if you wanted to go all around the edges of downtown Milan on a tram, along the Inner Ring Road that follows the path of of the old 16th century Spanish Walls around Milan (mostly the edges of the congestion-area "Area C" of today) - without going through the middle - then you would take a combination of Trams 9 and 10 (SEE more details in the article on the Inner Ring Road, the "Cerchia dei Bastioni" of the 16th century Spanish Walls). Much of the circumference of the ring of roads known as the Cerchi dei Navigli (previous circle of canals that derived from the moats around the Medieval Walls of Milan, that is closer in and even more central than the Inner Ring Road of the old Spanish Walls) around Milan's Centro Storico, is covered by Bus 94 rather than a tram (SEE more details in the article on the Cerchia dei Navigli encircling Milan's "Centro Storico" along its previous Medieval Walls). Meanwhile, the furthest ring road from the centre, the 19th century External Ring Road, is covered by the clockwise Trolleybus 90 and the anti-clockwise Trolleybus 91 (SEE more details in the article on the External Ring Road of Milan).




N.B. There is also a great deal of detailed information (including another tram map) on the Milan tram system, all on one page created by Gabor Sandi.





For further information, click to SEE the detailed articles:


Milan's public transport system - Tickets; what to buy, how to buy, how to use on ATM's network of Metro trains, trams and buses

- Red M1 Metro Line - Milan's "Shopping Line"

- Green M2 Metro Line - the only Metro line for the Navigli area at Porta Genova

- Yellow M3 Metro Line - the only Metro line to Porta Romana

- Lilac M5 Metro Line - the newest and most convenient way to get to the San Siro Stadium

- Tram routes through central downtown - there are circular routes too (this page)

- Tram 16, the traditional way to reach San Siro Stadium

- Milano Centrale Station & transport connections

- Best restaurants to try and the worst to avoid, inside Milano Centrale

- Porta Garibaldi Station with famous Corso Como - transport connections to Milan's second most important train station and the most important one for suburban commuter traffic

- Milan's Outer West and the San Siro Stadium - Metro, trams and the four bus routes that connect to San Siro Stadium



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