M5 Milan, lilac line

Milan Subway Network Grows: Welcome M5, Lilac Line

This weekend in Milan there’s a celebration for the grand opening of the metro line 5, the Lilac one.
Where is it going? And why it’s number 5 when there’s only three other lines?

The metro 5, the lilac line, had some party going this weekend for the opening of the stations of Garibaldi and Isola. Actually this line was already open, in fact Martina and I already had a run on this futuristic line in February 2013 when they opened it from Zara to Bignami. Who the hell wants to go there, you ask. Well, I don’t know… and probably nobody does, so much that the opening ceremony has only been done now and. During our “test run”, it was full of people just going up and down, like us, enjoying the novelty and hoping to get the front seat.

Tram in Milan

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This is a state-of-the-art line, all automatic, with no driver. It’s like the DLR in London where you can sit up front and pretend you’re driving the train through the tunnels. If you really want to know more technical nerdy stuff here’s the wiki page.

Where is it going?

Now the Zara-Bignami stage, mainly a commuters sector, has been extended with two stops: Isola, an area with lovely bars that was always disconnected from the rest of the town, and Garibaldi, the second biggest station after Stazione Centrale.

By early 2015, before the Expo, the line should be completed, going all the way to San Siro stadium.

Why Should I take the M5?

1. Because it takes you to Isola where you can get smashed at some of its great bars such as Frida.

2. Feel the thrill of riding in the driver seat. But you’ll have to fight for that

3. Experience life in the DDR getting off at Bicocca. No seriously, just stick to points 1 and 2.

Metro 5 Milano
Martina enthusiastically following me in the opening week of the M5

Why 5 comes before 4?

Originally the new lines M4 and M5 have been planned to give priority to the M4, which connects the city airportLinate – with the rest of town. But for some financial mess up and some other political complication, in such a typical italian fashion, the first line to be build is the one connecting the stadium. And, oh, also some newly built high-market residential areas.

The Subway Map of Milan, Updated

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Subway map Milan

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