Milan Hidden Gardens


Walking through the streets of Milan it is not uncommon to discover some green corners. Alongside the large parks such as the Sempione and the Public Gardens, Milan preserves hidden places of vegetation among the dense streets of its center. Luxuriant gardens of private homes can often be glimpsed from the gates of the buildings in the city centre, while green areas, open to the public, offer visitors moments of peace and relaxation.

If after a tour of museums or shopping you want to refresh yourself in the shade of a plane tree, a horse chestnut or an oak tree, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a look at these suggestions.

Let's start with the Brera Botanical Garden (Via Brera, 28). Squeezed between the buildings in the center of Milan, this little paradise full of rare species has been a place of meditation and cultivation for the Jesuit Fathers since the fourteenth century. Today the garden, cared for by the University of Milan and open to the public since 2001, hosts dense flowerbeds with various species of plants and flowers and an arboretum with two bicentennial Ginko Biloba. Even if spring and summer are the best seasons to visit it, the garden maintains a charm and a suggestive atmosphere also in the other seasons, ensuring the visitor a moment of enchantment and a break from the metropolitan chaos.

Not far from the Botanical Gardens, in Via dei Giardini 7/9, are the Perego Gardens, the smallest "landscape" or "English" park in Milan. Formerly owned by the Perego family of Cremnago, and now open to the public, the gardens house the eighteenth-century statue of Vertunno, god of gardens and fruit.

We continue the walk with the Gardens of Villa Begiojoso Bonaparte, in Via Palestro 16. Here, after a visit to the Modern Art Gallery (GAM) or the Contemporary Art Pavilion (PAC) located inside the villa, you can relax in the park in neoclassical style, characterized by large lawns, ancient trees, shady paths, statues and fountains: the ideal place for walks and outdoor picnics.

The Cloisters of the State University of Milan in Via Festa del Perdono 7 are also very suggestive, an oasis of beauty in the heart of the city a few steps from the Duomo. Here a succession of courtyards with elegant porticoes surrounding areas of lawn will make you feel immersed in the history of the place. At the exit among the trees of Largo Richini there is a statue dedicated to Margherita Hack, the famous Italian astrophysicist.

A short distance away are also the Guastalla Gardens (Via Francesco Sforza), one of the oldest public gardens in Milan. They feature extensive lawns, flower beds and a central pond with a fountain. Inside there is also a small neoclassical temple by Luigi Cagnola, an exponent of the Milanese neoclassical style and author of the more famous Arco della Pace in Milan.

An area full of greenery is also the one that winds between Via Vivaio, Via Mozart and Via Serbelloni. Among the gardens of the private houses that can be seen from the gates, there is that of Villa Invernizzi which houses some flamingos (Via Cappuccini 7). A beautiful garden, open to the public during visiting hours, is that of Villa Necchi Campiglio (Via Mozart 14). Here the feeling is to immerse yourself in a haven of peace where you can breathe the history of a Milanese family.

We close this small review with a recently built park, the Parco Biblioteca degli Alberi. Although not "hidden", it is surrounded by the new skyscrapers of Porta Nuova and has the charm of a modern garden, designed to combine green spaces and culture. Among plants and shrubs of various species and paths for walking and cycling, there are also thematic areas such as the "forest of readers" where it is possible to find a vast selection of books to read for free and the "forest of sounds", a area dedicated to artistic performances.

A dynamic and effervescent city, Milan offers many hidden places where you can stroll, read a book, stop and eat.

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