Sempione Park – some fresh air in Milan
If you want to relax a while you’ll be surprised to find this very large and nice park almost in Milan city center, behind the Castello Sforzesco . You can sit in the shade of the trees on the lawns or on one of the many benches, and see the Milanese pass by. Italian city centers most often do not have large green areas, so Milan is lucky to have this ‘lung’ where you sniff some fresh air. Sometimes in summer a real necessity because of the heavy smog that often infests the Po plane.
Worthwhile sights in the park
- the Torre Branca
Constructed in 1933 within just two and a half months for the Fifth Triennial exhibition, the Torre Branca , all made of steel, with its 109 m is a kind of miniature Eiffel tower. Accessible at the external side of the park it has a modern elevator, it offers a wonderful panorama over the park, the Castello and the city. The tower is property of the Branca family , who run a famous distillery for over 160 years. There is a museum on the firm’s historic industrial premises Via Resegone 2, (Mon/Wedn/Fri 10-3 reservation obligatory). There is a modern bar/restaurant at the base of the tower, from which one has a lovely view of the park.
- the Palazzo dell’Arte – Triennale
a cultural center with events and exhibitions, with café/bar
(entrance outside of the park)
- the Acquario Civico
The communal aquarium of Milan, situated in a beautiful Liberty-style art nouveau building, is one of the oldest aquariums in the world. A spectacular transparent tunnel-bridge allows visitors to pass underneath the tank and admire the many different fish species from every corner. The aquarium has multimedia library.
- the Ponte delle Sirenette
a large pond with a beautiful bridge
- the Arena Gianni Brera
The Municipal Sports Arena, named after the famous sports journalist Gianni Brera is a neoclassical building from 1807. Napoleon was present at the opening ceremony! The Arena is still in use for athletics, concerts and events and is the home ground of the Amatori rugby team . It can hold up to 30.000 spectators. In September each year the Arena is the venue of the Notturna di Milano, a European Athletics competition. The Loggia Reale , Royal Gallery, has a graceful five-arch portico and eight columns of solid pink granite. The Porta Trionfale (Gate of Triumph) has two doric columns on each side and bas-relief depicting the classical games. Completely accessible for the disabled.
- the Arco della Pace
At the far end of the Parco Sempione is the imposing monument of the Arch of Peace , originally from Napoleonic times, but adapted after the defeat of the little emperor. The monument is richly decorated and the Chariot of Peace ( a so-called sestiga : a cart drawn by six horses) is a spectacular “topping”. Part of the decorations represent the rivers of Lombardy and the Veneto : the Po , Ticino , Adda and Tagliamento.