Overview : When you’ve had enough of the traffic, the crowds and the chaos, and need some peace and quiet, there is nothing better than an... more »
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When you’ve had enough of the traffic, the crowds and the chaos, and need some peace and quiet, there is nothing better than an... more » immersion… in green!
Even in frenetic Milan, it is possible to follow a nature-lovers itinerary, discovering some of the city's most poetic and relaxing spots. From ponds and centuries-old plants to vegetable gardens and gorgeous flowers. And it could even happen that you see some flamingoes...
Author: DILETTA GRELLA (translation by Lauren Elizabeth Sanders). In collaboration with the Official Tourism Website www.italia.it less «
Be sure to pack a good book, a picnic blanket, a snack and something to drink, and you’re ready to fully enjoy the magic of “green... more » Milan!”
If you don’t feel like walking too far, you can split the itinerary in two: take the first leg one day (ending with Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Garden), and the second leg another day (Botanical Garden of Brera and Sempione Park). less «
An evocative corner of green sits right in the heart of the city, and better yet, you will never have to share the space with many people at once – guaranteeing you an authentically-peaceful and relaxing experience.
Conceived in a style “all’italiana” (geometric forms and perfect symmetry), the Guastalla Garden, realized in the 1500s, extends... More over three acres.
Among the architectonic gems that can be seen here, is a fish tank in the Baroque, with stone balustrades and iron railing: at one point it was fed by the waters of Milan’s Navigli Canals, even used fish breeding.
Just as splendid is a kiosk featuring an 18th-Century sculptural group of Mary Magdalene being watched over by the angels in stucco and terra cotta. Find it in the garden situated between via Sforza and via San Barnaba.
Also remarkable is the Neoclassical tempietto by the architect Luigi Cagnola.
Exiting the garden onto via della Guastalla, we find the lovely facade of Milan’s central-most Synagogue, built in 1892.
Address: Via Francesco Sforza, via San Barnaba, via Guastalla
January, February: 7am-7pm
November, December: 7am-7pm
Just inside the gate of this magnificent home, you will feel as if you have left the city behind.
Located in Milan’s heart, Villa Necchi Campiglio is an exemplar of the few urban villas in the city. Completed between 1932 and 1935 by the architect Piero Portaluppi for a family of industrial magnates, today it is the property of the Italian... More Environmental Fund (FAI), who led the restoration of the villa.
Before seeing its rooms, sit down near the pool, under the centuries-old magnolia trees, enjoying the perfumes, aromas and colors of its flora (roses, geraniums, camellias, and hydrangeas), the chirrup of birds, and the rustling of leaves.
After just a short while, any anxieties, worries and stress – as if by magic – will begin to melt away.
The villa’s garden is rather small, but is definitely worth a visit for those in search of quiet beauty. It also contains a caffetteria, where you can grab a coffee and a bite.
Be sure to take the guided tour inside the house to appreciate its rationalist architecture and Art Deco elements, as well as its singularly elegant ambience!
Address: via Mozart 14
Wednesday to Sunday: 10am–6pm
Fifty-minute guided tours are available every half-hour.
Visit to the villa and garden: Adults 8 euros; Children (4-12 years) 4 Euros.
Visits to the villa are guided.
Visits to the garden are free
In a city whose characteristics include heavy traffic and important business deals, you might find it strange that it is possible to hit flamingo traffic as well!
But that is exactly what you will happen upon if you stop in front of Villa Invernizzi, near Corso Venezia. These beautiful birds have lived here for many years now.
The villa is... More private (the Foundation Invernizzi is based here) but it is possible to watch the birds through the entrance gate at via Cappuccini, 9.
It is a rather charming and exciting experience to observe these elegant creatures as they move about their garden and pool area – you will feel as though you have been transported to some far-off, exotic land, or perhaps to the set of “Out of Africa,” with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep....
Address: via Cappuccini 9
Remaining in the city’s center, we can happen upon one of the most beautiful of public gardens! As soon as you step inside, this relaxing atmosphere will wash right over you.
This 42.5-acre park sees a lot of life in both summer and winter: grandparents and nannies push strollers past the plants and flowers, children jump and run round the large ... Morefountain or near the pond, students read, couples share benches, groups of friends play on the grassy knolls, and students of Tai Chi run through their routines…
Children can choose from among jousts, a tiny train, pony rides, and sometimes, on weekends, watching fire-eaters and other entertainers!
During Christmas revelers can ice skate here, while all throughout the year various events and assemblies are held.
The Indro Montanelli Public Gardens were the first of Milan’s parks ever designed for public use.
Realized at the end of the 1700s, and following the French style (with a geometric display of its elements) they were designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini.
The Gardens were actually dedicated to Montanelli in 2002; at the Piazza Cavour entrance, a statue of this beloved Italian journalist (inseparable from his typewriter) greets all that arrive.
Also in the Gardens, on the Via Palestro side, Bar Bianco (at no. 24) is by now a city establishment: a simple but very pleasant environment and great if you need some refreshment after all that relaxing!
You may also notice some chessplayers, from all over the world, who draw out their chessboard from the backpack and play here all the day.
The Park is also home to a few other important structures, like the Ulrico Hoepli Planetarium, Palazzo Dugnani, the Civic Museum of Natural History, and the Padiglione del Caffè.
Address: Bastioni di Porta Venezia, via Manin, via Palestro, Corso Venezia.
January, February: 6:30am–8pm
March, April: 6:30am–9pm
June to September: 6:30am–11:30pm
November, December: 6:30am–8pm
Via Palestro separates the Montanelli Gardens from yet another peaceful oasis (even if a bit smaller, at 4.7 acre): the garden of Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte, also known as the Villa Reale.
Finished at the end of the 18th Century, it is one of Milan’s first gardens done in the English style. The English garden varies from the more rationalized and... More geometric philosophy of Italian and French gardens; its intent is to be more realistic and less pre-conceived, and based on the combination of both natural and artificial elements that, passing through the garden, one discovers one after another.
Tip: entry here is reserved for children 12 years and under, accompanied by an adult.
Note that some guards are more vigilant than others in respecting this rule. If you are not a parent but want to get into the garden, offer yourself as babysitter for children of friends or relatives! A bit of time in this enchanting garden will be your reward!
Address: via Palestro
May to October: 9an–7pm
November to April: 9am–4pm
Free Entrance. Space reserved from children (max. 12 years old) accompanied by adults.
A magical little corner of Milan resides in the Botanical Garden of Brera. A peaceful haven known by many Milanese, it is appreciated as a verdant and relaxing environment.
It is one of the few places in the city where silence reigns: the protected position, close to Palazzo di Brera, and the tall plants, absorb and muffle the sounds of the city.
... More It is the ideal place to get to know Mother Nature herself, discovering a different display every season.
Created in 1774 under the Empress Maria Therese of Austria, the garden is actually not very big: it covers a surface of approximately 1.24 acres.
What strikes the eye upon entry, is the variety and the number of the plants.
The most beautiful exemplars here include two ginko bilobas that are among the oldest in Europe, a 131-ft tall lime tree, and the Caucasian Walnut. As for its rather remarkable flower collections, the garden hosts tracts of medicinal plants, veggie patches and beds of peonies and columbines.
If you happen to be here at noon, sit on one of the benches available, close your eyes and enjoy the concert of church bells ringing nearby.
Entrance at Via Brera 28 or Via Fiori Oscuri 4
Monday to Friday: 9am-12pm. Saturday: 10am-4pm
From the 19th of march to the 30th of june and from the 15th of september to the 1st of november:
Monday to Friday: 9am-12pm, 3pm-5pm. Saturday: 10am-5pm
This is the city’s largest park, loved by the Milanese who come here to relax and commune with nature.
You can enter the park via the Porta del Barchio (from the Sforzesco Castle). Some distance ahead of you, you will find the Arch of Peace – seemingly right in front of you, thanks to a game of perspective – realized by the architect Luigi Cagnola... More between 1807 and 1815. The Arch was projected to celebrate the military victories of Napoleon (it thus faces toward France) and was subsequently dedicated to peace itself.
Nonetheless, between you and the Arch rests a splendid green area, a grand English garden landscape with bodies of water, trails for running and walking, and rises and falls in its terrain: the Sempione Park.
The best way to get to know the area (designed by Emilio Alemagna in 1890) is to wander its paths, observing the countless species of trees (a few of which are rather exotic), bushes, and flowers. In fact, the voluntary ecological guards here organize two types of botanical itineraries (reserve by calling tel. 0039-02-88464456).
Here you can run, bike, take a wellness or exercise class, play volleyball or basketball…
There is also a large playground for children and specially-demarcated zones for dogs.
At the park’s center is a pond, and standing next to it, the rather poetic Sirens’ Bridge (mid-19th Century), which takes its name for the four water creatures that decorate it.
The most important buildings inside the park include: the Palazzo della Triennale, seat of important architecture, design, fashion, art and new media exhibits and expos; the Branca Tower, realized in 1933 and featuring a panoramic terrace from which to view the city of Milan from a height of over 354 feet; the Civic Arena for cultural and athletic events; the beautiful art nouveau Civic Aquarium, one of the oldest constructions in the world of its kind; and the Park Library, constructed c. 1550.
Touches via Pagano, via Bertani, piazza Castello, viale Elvezia, viale Milton, viale Gladio, viale Alemagna and viale Legnano.