Milan newsstands to become info points

Information for tourists, business visitors in Milan.

Milan has launched a scheme to turn newsstands into information points where tourists and business visitors can seek help and local guidance across the city.

And for local residents, the service is to include also online connection with city hall, so that people – especially the elderly – can pick up certificates such as confirmation of residence without needing to line up at the administration offices. Over half of these certificates are already issued online, but not everybody has access to a computer, city hall points out.

The city’s plan includes using newsstands to help widen the public wi-fi coverage in their area.

The move is designed not only to make life easier for locals and visitors – it is also a scheme to bring added value to a a sector which has been hit hard by the decline in the sale of newspapers and magazines: since 2012, the number of newsstands in Milan has dropped from around 1,000 to 632, a loss of over one third.

These include 503 classical kiosks carrying exclusively newspapers and magazines, and 129 which carry the press and also other wares such as stationery. They are found on the streets, but also in supermarkets, in hospitals and in metro and train stations. Their capillary presence in every corner of Milan makes them ideal for the initiative.