In Italy, sometimes arriving can be the country’s most dramatic moment. While some visitors might just exercise their cameras on Rome’s great monuments and ruins, others hit up Florence for a taste of the Renaissance or Venice for the canals.
No matter the reason for visiting, amatuer photographers arriving on flights to Italy should consider giving the nation’s trains stations a moment or two with their cameras.
Not only are these spaces prime people-watching venues, but also they are great architectural stunners. The Italians wouldn’t have it any other way. Even a simple train station must have a bit of flair.
Milano Centrale: Step off the train in Milan and a dramatic ceiling waits. Considered one of Europe’s most beautiful train stations, Milano Centrale is also the second largest station in the country, seeing around 600 trains a day. The ornate and palatial like structure was built between 1912 and 1931. And of course there is an abbundance of shopping. Italy’s fashion capital would be a fraud without placing at least a few designer fashions within the central station.
Venezia Santa Lucia: From its exterior and perhaps even the interior, Venice’s Santa Lucia Station might be one of the city’s ugliest buildings. However as you exit your train and make your way to the station’s exit, immediately, you are on the Grand Canal. Again, it is all about the view here; and it’s one that just might make you think you’ve landed in a sort of dream world. Just try not to look at the train station itself with its cold, post-World War II appearance. This venerable station
sees around 450 trains a day, with roughly 82,000 people passing through daily.
Palermo Centrale: Constructed in 1885, Palermo’s central station is one of Italy’s oldest places of rail. Palermo Centrale boasts a monumental entrance, alluding to Sicily at the end of the 19th century. Step inside to its interior and you will uncover wrought ironwork along with classical and renaissance elements. While its canopy roof was destroyed during war and there might be more concrete for a traveler’s liking, it is still one of Italy’s oldest and grandest stations.
Genova Brignole: The second railway station to the Ligurian capital, Genova Brignole looks more palace than train station. Set up in Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, the station sees over 300 trains each day. It is its architecture though that might be bringing some of those passengers to Genova Brignole. Ornamented with decorative motifs, the building features cornices of white granite and plenty of fine frescoes adorning the internal walls, some by Grife, De Servi and Berroggio.
CC Flickr photo credit: Tom Hughes-Croucher