Classic lush parks and gardens in Milan

Milan is one of Italy’s “greenest” cities, with its 54 parks and 21 gardens covering around 15 km2, or nearly 10% of the urban area. Milan’s green “lungs” remain mostly unpolluted and provide a reprieve for residents, business visitors, and tourists despite the city’s ongoing efforts to minimize pollution levels in the streets. The area has bike lanes, sports fields, and outdoor workout courses that are kid-friendly and well-equipped. There are gazebos and kiosks to provide shade and refreshments for anyone looking to rest and take in the natural setting, whether for the day or just during lunch. Grilling, barbecuing, and picnicking outside of specified places are prohibited in these parks.

Despite Milan’s current upward momentum in a daring and contemporary fashion, the city has long boasted lovely parks and open areas. The famous Sempione Park surrounds the Sforza Castle, while the Botanical Garden of the Basilica di Brera is tucked away in the neighborhood of Brera. All of these parks are conveniently located in central Milan or are accessible by public transportation from the heart of the city. During the summer months, when people would rather spend as much time as possible outdoors rather than in their stuffy apartments, the larger parks are typically used for carnival-like festivals, so keep an eye out and join the fun if you come across one. Some of Milan’s most notable parks and gardens are listed here.

Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione, stretching from Castello Sforzesco to Arco della Pace, is Milan’s most well-known park. Mermaid Bridge and the Aquarium of Milan are just two of the many attractions of Parco Sempione, which also features expansive lawns, dirt paved running trails, and eight entrances. The park’s namesake, Teatro Continuo (Continual theatre), is an amphitheater where you can hear percussion groups play congas while looking out over Parco Sempione. Located in the heart of Milan, Parco Sempione is a charming park designed in the “English style” that opened in 1893 and is one of many parks in the city that are free to the public and accessible 24 hours a day. Trees and bushes abound, and there are also various places to play and exercise, as well as designated spots for children. Sforza castle is just one of many prestigious establishments that border the park, which is a popular gathering spot.

If you’d rather not explore on your own, an audio guided tour is available from Vox City, and the Vox City app can be used for navigation and other purposes.

Parco delle Basiliche

Between the two churches of San Lorenzo and Sant’Eustorgio is the park known as Parco Giovanni Paolo II delle Basiliche, or simply “Parco delle Basiliche.” It connects the two basilicas’ apses to create an “archaeological path.” In the heart of Milan’s old town, you may relax in a park surrounded by a variety of tree species, including maples, black pines, elms, and plane trees.

Parco delle Basiliche, a popular park in Milan, is conveniently located near the trendy Naviglio district. In addition to the Roman ruins in the park, you’ll find Il Monumento alle Streghe, a memorial to the witches who were executed before the Tribunal of the Inquisition of Sant’Eustorgio in medieval Milan. 

Belgioioso Garden

One of Milan’s highest-priority residents—the city’s kids—deserves their very own park. Adults can only enter if a youngster is with them. One of the most beautiful parks in Milan is Giardini della Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte. The beautiful Villa Bonaparte Belgioioso Garden was designed by Viennese architect Leopold Pollack in 1796 to complement the Neoclassical Villa Reale, the Villa Belgioioso. The villa’s grounds now house the contemporary art galleries Galleria d’Arte Moderna (GAM) and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporane (PAC). Stop by this English-style garden after a morning of modern art for some much-needed downtime.

Leonardo’s Vineyard

The city of Milan is home to only one vineyard, and that is Leonardo’s Vineyard. When it was still only a courtyard, the Duke of Milan gave it to Leonardo Da Vinci as a gift. Leonardo da Vinci was given the land on which he later planted a 16-row vineyard by Ludovico “Il Moro,” Duke of Milan, at the time that he was working on the Last Supper (1495–1498) under the duke’s patronage. Da Vinci was an avid gardener and self-taught botanist who treated his plants with care and precision. The Vigna di Leonardo restoration project was launched in 2015, and the Atellani House (Casa Degli Atellani) was made available to the general public for the first time. Both are open to guests. The winery produces a vintage known as Tasto Atellano, which is served at the Museum’s café for free.

Vigna di Leonardo, Milan / Christine Wagner Flickr

You may visit Sforza Castle and Leonardo’s Vineyard, two of Milan’s most famous attractions, for free as part of your Vox City self-guided trip. We’ll throw in a self-guided tour of Milan at no extra charge. The trip kicks off at a vineyard named after Leonardo da Vinci. Enjoy exclusive entrance to this stunning venue and learn about the untold narrative of a vineyard that connects Leonardo da Vinci to Milan.

Brera Botanical Garden

The Brera district comes last but certainly not least. The Botanical Garden at the Basilica di Brera is a little-known gem in Milan. You may find the Pinacoteca Art Gallery and Museum, as well as the Brera Botanical Garden, in the same historic building in the heart of Milan known as the Palazzo di Brera. Around 300 plant species are protected at the botanical garden, which was commissioned by Maria Theresa of Austria in 1774. Every corner of the gardens is a new sight to see in their breathtaking beauty. This hidden garden is an oasis of calm and beauty with a refreshing breeze and, most importantly, a personality all its own.

With a Vox City tour, you can take in the beauty and learn about the rich history of Milan’s gardens and parks. You’ll be captivated by the lasting impression these gardens have made on the beating heart of Milan as you wander through them. If you ever find yourself in Milan, be sure to spend some time in one of the many lovely parks dotting the city.

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