Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions
Parco Sempione is the largest green space in the city of Milan. It is located at the rear of Sforzesca Castle, in the northwest of the city. Covering an area of about 95 acres (38 hectares), it is a perfect haven to relax, to walk, jog, to bike ride or just about anything you wish, to fly away the time. The shaded area, sculptures and ornate fountains are especially inviting. Flora and fauna abound here as is the tranquillity in some areas where it is not crowded. This peaceful haven is popular amongst tourists as well as Milanese who seek respite from their hectic city life.
Parco Sempione, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay
First established in 1888, the park was used as a hunting ground by the Sforza family, the Dukes of Milan. Then it was landscaped when Napolean came, with a few orchards. In 1891, a large park was constructed for the public. Today, Parco Sempione has a number of attractions on site which should not be missed when you are visiting this peaceful and tranquil haven. There are 5 attractions which are made up of the Sforza Castle, Arch of Peace, an aquarium, a sporting arena, and Torre Branca, one of the tallest tower in Milan.
1 | Sforza Castle in Parco Sempione
Sforzesco Castle, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas
Sforza Castle is a landmark in Milan. An impressive red brick fortress which was initially built in the 14th century by the Visconti family. The Castle was almost destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. It underwent massive improvements and reconstruction later in the 15th century when the Sforza family became the Dukes of Milan, to be one of the largest palaces in Europe. Today, Sforza Castle is home to several museums that houses valuable art and masterpieces. Notably, Michelangelo’s unfinished last work, the Rondanini Pietà and Sala delle Asse, frescoes by Da Vinci.
Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 17:30
2 | Arco della Pace
Arco della Pace, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay
The Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) is a symbol of Milan and marks one of the historic gates. This was the strategic route taken by Napoleon when he invaded Northern Italy. This triumphal monument, is a beautiful structure made of marble and was completed in 1838. Standing at 23 metres and topped with horse-drawn chariots. is a landmark not to be missed when visiting Milan.
Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
3 | Arena Civica
Also in Parco Sempione, there is Arena Civica which is one of Milan’s most popular sporting venues. The official name is Arena Gianni Brera, named after the famous Italian writer and journalist. Designed by Luigi Canonica, the Arena Civica was Napolean’s mini-colosseum which he opened with a chariot race in 1807. This Neoclassical stadium hosts major sporting events such as soccer, rugby games and concerts. The Arena is open daily to the public.
It is quite a plain stadium but the entrance looked okay.
Address: Viale Giorgio Byron, 2, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
4 | Acquario Civico in Parco Sempione
The Acquario Civico di Milano (Civic Aquarium of Milan) is tucked away in a convenient corner of Parco Sempione. Opened in 1906, it is beautiful. but a rather small aquarium. Home to over one-hundred species of fish, it tells a story of the mountain streams to seabeds. The are video presentations on the rare species.
The Acquario Civico is open to the public every day except Monday. Entrance is free.
Address: Viale Gadio, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
5 | Torre Branca
Torre Branca is no ordinary tower!. It is narrow and made completely of steel. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is one the City’s tallest buildings. The Tower was designed by Gio Ponti and erected in just two-and-half months in time for the 5th Triennale exhibition in 1933.
Take the elevator to the top, step out to see the incredible views over the City of Milan, the skyscrapers both old and new as well as the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Opening times varies:
On mid April-mid October:
Tues and Thurs 9.30pm-midnight | Wed 10.30am-12.30pm/4pm-6.30pm/9.30pm-midnight | Fri 2.30pm-6pm/9.30pm-midnight | Sat and Sun 10.30am-12.30am/2.30pm-7.30pm/9.30pm-midnight.
On mid October-mid April:
Wed 10.30am-12.30am/4pm-6.30pm | Sat 10.30am-1pm/3pm-6.30pm/8.30-midnight | Sun 10.30am-2pm/2.30pm-7pm.
Full ticket €5.
NB: The Torre Branca is closed for visits in case of bad weather.
Parco Sempione, viale Milton
M1-M2 Cadorna FN
Practical information when visiting Parco Sempione
1. Map of Parco Sempione
To support your visit to the Park, below is a map of Parco Sempione in Milan with markers for the 5 attractions I have listed on this post.
2. Plan ahead
When visiting Milan, consider joining a couple of city guided tours to enhance your experiences. There are hundreds of unmissable activities in Milan for all ages and interests. Plan ahead and secure your ticket/s especially if you are planning on visiting “The Last Supper” at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Pre-book your tickets and stay flexible with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before. Save time, avoid queues and purchase skip the line tickets for major attractions. The following may be of interest to you:
3 | Read related articles
The following are some articles on Milan that may support your visit to the City:
So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Parco Sempione? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.
Have a splendid time exploring Parco Sempione.
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