Think Milan is nothing but a bleak, grey town? Think again! The city boasts beautiful (albeit, mini) oases of great-looking greenery, charming gardens and cozy parks. Sure, the Milanese could take a few pooper-scooper pointers from New York’s fastidious dog owners, but that quibble aside, there are plenty of places to immerse yourself in gorgeous vegetation. Like all things in this tough-to-crack town, most of the best stuff is hidden, not obvious or maddeningly private (have you looked UP recently and seen those insane jungle-like terraces of the super sciuras?) So here’s the skinny on the easy way to be a Green Goddess when you’re inside Milan’s grey walls.

And P.S. Girls, check out the bottom for what to wear when you’re there!!!

Parco Sempione

  • Jogger’s Delight: This is the biggest park in Milan’s center. Running around the perimeter will take you ten minutes (yes, we wish it were bigger too!)
  • The green goods: We are castle lovers at heart, so jogging by Castello Sforzesco (or taking a more in-depth excursion to its antique-stuffed underbelly) is an instant mood booster.
  • Insider tip: While there, combine design and happy hour culture at the nearby Triennale Design Museum (have a drink in the beautiful terrace overlooking the park), or whiz up to Gio Ponti’s Torre Branca
  • Hidden park perk: Check out the glass walled library designed by Ico Parisi in 1954 featuring 5,000 books you can read while taking in the park’s foliage.

Piazza Sempione
Open 6.30 am to 9pm everyday

Brera Botanical Garden

  • Insider tip: It rubs backs with the garden of the Bulgari Hotel. So stop by here first, then hop over to the Bulgari for your king-sized aperol spritz.
  • The green goods: The Garden is small, but continue the tour in the hidden cultural compound in which it’s housed, which includes Brera’s Pinacoteca museum, the Astronomical Observatory, and the National Library which is housed upstairs in one of our favorite rooms in Milan.
  • Hidden park perk: The sensorial impact of this garden is so strong that there is even a special visit for the blind. Check monthly listings of activities at:

via Brera 28
Open 10.00am-11.00pm April, 13th to 19th
10.00am-10.00pm April 20th to May24th

Villa Invernizzi Garden

  • Hidden park perk: Home to the only flock of flamingoes in Milan (these pink beauties were imported from Chile and Africa by the Invernizzi family in 1970s)
  • Insider tip: it’s rarely ever open, but you can join the locals in the long established tradition of sticking your neck through the gates to snap a picture!
  • The Green Goods: A part from its silent beauty, we also love this garden’s surrounding Liberty architecture.
  • Fun fact: The first private pool ever built in Milan is part of this garden (in fact this location used to home several exotic animals)

Via Cappuccini, 7

Indro Montanelli in the Giardini Pubblici

  • Fun fact Named after a famed Italian journalist, Indro Montanelli, founder of il Giornale, who, when was not interviewing Wiston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle, loved to come to this park!
  • The Green Goods: Come for science and sunbathing! There’s a lovely (and little) lake at the center of this park, not to mention a Museum of Natural History and a Planetarium.
  • Extra Entertainment: Ride a pony, jam the breaks on a go-kart or take a picnic (You can get a picnic basket at California Bakery including blankets, pillows and cutlery) in nearby viale Premuda.
  • Hidden Park park: Hit up the Chiosco di Pippo during the summer months for a fab aperitivo situation. Order the mojito and watermelon in scodella (in its rind).

Bastioni di Porta Venezia
Open 6.30am-9pm daily March, April, October.
6.30am-10pm daily May.
6.30am-11.30pm daily June to September.
6.30am-8pm daily November to February.

Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte Garden

  • VIPs only: you need a child under 12 (or an extremely baby-faced and short friend) to enter this kids-only park
  • Why we love it: the best English-style garden in Milan (i.e., it’s properly maintained and manicured). Perfect meditating spot after visiting Villa Reale.
  • The Green Goods: the Gazebo is one of the best Smooching Stops in Milan!
  • Hidden park perks: the small waterfall, adorable ducks and ducklings and three different palazzos featuring great art including the Museo dell’Ottecento, the Galleria d’arte Moderna (GAM), and Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea.Via Palestro
    Open 9am-7 pm May to October
    9am -4 pm November to April

    Vivaio Riva

    • Fun fact One of the best kept Milanese secrets, just a few steps from Corso di Porta Ticinese, this hidden oasis is adored by the city’s top Sciuras who buy all of their flowers here.
    • Green Goods: Fantastic assortment of chic flowers from cheap primroses to precious camellias worth over one thousand euros!
    • Hidden Park Perk: Your very own secret garden: this romantic, dreamy setting can be rented for private events and sometimes hosts book presentations or other cultural events.

    Via Arena 7
    Open Monday to Saturday 8.30am – 12.30 and 2.30 – 6.30pm

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