Curiosities regarding Northern Italian tourist destinations
By Ugo Rossi
Translated by Jack Davidson Walmsley
Have you ever travelled on one of Milan’s underground lines? Have you ever wondered why some of these stations are named like that? Today I will lead you in a discovery that will help you to understand in more detail, another small piece of Milanese history.
Did there used to be a port in Milan?
Let’s start from the MM3 line, also known as the “yellow” line it’s Porto di Mare station.In 1907 when the Civil Engineers of Milan presented the project in which the port of Rogoredo just south of Porta Romana was expected to become the meeting point for the waters flowing out of the city;The idea was to create a new dock in the area, but for what reason? By then the old structure of the Milanese harbor had become insufficiently big enough to cope with the large amount of materials transported in and out of the city, therefore, an idea was presented for a large basin with as many as five docking piers (which were later reduced to four) and which would pass east of the “Idroscalo” and connect with the railway lines of Rogoredo and Porta Romana.But the two World Wars and the sudden change in the lifestyle of the city meant that the project was abandoned.The station and the entire Porto di Mare district, therefore, are now a tribute to a project which was never accomplished.
Milano Lodi TIBB underground station
Another curious name we encounter on the MM3 is Lodi TIBB, going back to the early 1900’s, in what is now the area between Viale Umbria and Piazzale Lodi, there was a company that designed and built trains, trams, railway rolling stock, signalling and safety systems that no longer exists today.It’s name was Tecnomasio Italiano Brown Boveri, located close to what was once a strategic meeting point with the Porta Romana freight terminal, which should have been the original name of the station in 1991 when it was inaugurated.However, since there was already a railway station with the same name to avoid confusion and in honour of that historical company (Tecnomasio Italiano Brown Boveri) hence the acronym Lodi T.I.B.B. was created.
Veronica Gàmbara, Italian poetess of the sixteenth century
Changing network we will hop to the MM1 line, also known as the “red” line where we find a pretty controversial name, not so much for the place it is supposed to locate, but for the accent placed on the correct syllable.This is about the Gambara station which, in the internal announcements, is pronounced Gàmbara, with the accent falling on the first A but the inhabitants of the area maintain that the same should be placed instead in the second A stating that the correct pronunciation should be Gambàra, even going as far as proposing a petition, addressed to the current Mayor of Milan, Mr. Sala, to remedy the outrage caused to the neighborhood and its inhabitants.It appears, however, that the residents have not won this battle and that ATM (Azienda Trasporti Milano) which runs Milan’s public transport system, with which we would associate ourselves have been more convincing.The station, in fact, bears the name of the square named after Veronica Gàmbara, a 16th century poetess.Shall we just leave Gambàra in the province of Brescia, where the town with that name is located?
QT8, the strength of a neighbourhood
Finally reaching QT8, also allocated on the northern tip of the MM1 Line, where Q stands for “Quartiere” which means neighborhood, T is equal for Triennale and 8 identifies as the eighth edition of the event organized by the Palazzo dell’Arte e dell’architettura of Milan.The construction of this district took several years, between 1946 and 1947 the first houses were erected to house many of the displaced people from the great war, the architects who won a national tender followed eleven different designs, worthy of noting is that for the first time in Italian history, these were prefabricated 4-storey housesMuch attention was paid to the gardens, the first children’s playgrounds, green areas in the condominium and a large park of about 350,000 square metres important for the whole city were built.A lot of attention was also focused on the gardens, the first children’s playgrounds, communal green areas and a large park of about 350.000 sqm.
The most peculiar station in town
Also on the MM1 line you will find the station of “Precotto”, allowing three different interpretations.The most popular one seems to refer to a gruesome death, as it seems that here once upon a time, a priest was burned alive (For your information: “Pre” is a diminutive for Priest and ”Cotto” literally means cooked).However, we must also admit that there is no historical evidence to back this thesis, as it’s merely an urban legend.Another possibility is given by the fact that this area was once a countryside, a suburb made of land and meadows which in the local dialect is called “Pree”, land that has been burnt by the sun, or perhaps, intentionally burnt to be renewed or to feed the pastures.The third and final version, which some studies give as more realistic, claim that in these lands once was an area called “Pulcoctum”.
Cascina Gobba on the MM2 “Green Line”
The last stage of this itinerary takes us to Cascina Gobba on the “Green” MM2 line.The name comes from an ancient rural community, the hamlet of Gobba (la Goeubba in local dialect) which ran the Trattoria della Gobba, where there was previously a farmhouse.It was from here that the first steam trams used the arrive into town, and later on also the first electric ones.Curiously, Cascina Gobba is the only underground station in Milan to boast of four separate tracks; Track #1 is for the the trains which are intended to reach Gessate and Cologno Nord stations, whilst track #2 is the terminus for inbound trains, tracks #3 and #4 are where the trains to Assago Forum and Piazza Abbiategrasso run.
Ugo Rossi: Giornalista pubblicista mi occupo da anni di accoglienza alberghiera e comunicazione. Amo il nostro Paese che ritengo il più bello del mondo e cerco di regalare emozioni a chi lo viene a visitare. Il mio motto? Strenuo difensore dell’uso della nostra lingua alle persone piene di sè, preferisco di gran lunga le persone piene di se.
Jack Walmsley, British blood but Italian in his heart. Passionate about Rugby, Food, Nature and Mixology (Gin in particular). Aspiring member of the Golden Keys currently in force at the Park Hyatt Milan as Night Goalkeeper, the undisputed reality of Milanese hospitality. The Lockdown was a hard blow for me, but I can't wait to get back in the game!
Jack Walmsley, sangue Britannico ma Italiano nel cuore. Appassionato di Rugby, Cibo, Natura e Mixology (Gin in particolare). Membro aspirante delle Chiavi d’oro attualmente in forza al Park Hyatt Milano come Portiere Notturno, realta’ indiscussa dell´ospitalita´ Milanese. Il Lockdown per me e´stato un duro colpo, ma non vedo l’ora di rimettermi in gioco! Traduco i testi in inglese per EnjoyItalyGo. Linkedin