Top Parks and Gardens in Milan
Milan may be known as Italy’s capital of fashion and design, but this cosmopolitan city also has a number of beautiful green spaces that offer a relaxing break from the city’s relentless urban pace. From grand city parks to tiny private gardens, here are our top picks of the best in Milan.
Sempione Park (Parco Sempione)
Milan’s most popular public park, this expanse of green stretches from Sforzesco Castle to the Arch of Peace and houses the Triennale di Milano museum of art and design, the Arena Civica stadium, the city aquarium, and the Torre Branca panoramic tower. Most come, however, simply to stroll along the pretty paths, rest on the shady benches, and take a break from the surrounding bustle of Milan.
Located just opposite the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent housing Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper, this tiny plot of land tucked behind Casa degli Atellani was owned by Leonardo in the 15th century and has been recently restored and planted with the same variety of grape the artist grew to make wine more than 500 years ago. Tickets to the vineyard also include a tour of the Renaissance villa it is set behind, as well as the surrounding garden.
Indro Montanelli Public Gardens (Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli)
This 18th-century garden in Milan’s Porta Venezia neighborhood offers inviting, wide paths crisscrossing geometric flower beds and is home to the Museum of Natural History and the planetarium. In addition to its lush grounds, the park includes a children’s play area and a butterfly oasis.
Brera Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico di Brera)
Tucked away in posh Brera, this botanical garden was established by Maria Theresa of Austria in 1777 and is now part of the University of Milan. In addition to its two 18th-century ponds, pavilion, observatory, and greenhouses, this private garden has a network of paths lined by meticulous flowerbeds, tinkling fountains, and quiet benches perfect for a rejuvenating break. Be sure to note the two towering ginkgo biloba trees, among the oldest of their species in Europe.
Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Gardens (Giardini della Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte)
Just across the street from the Indro Montanelli Public Gardens and behind the neoclassical villa that today hosts Milan’s Museum of Modern Art, these small but pretty gardens are known locally as the Gardens of the Royal Villa and host over 50 species of plants. After admiring the gallery’s collection of 19th-century art, you can relax along the paths that wind around a small lake, passing footbridges and a small temple, all against the backdrop of the late-18th-century royal residence.