Chic Milan is known for its contemporary elegance and relentless pace, so it may come as a surprise to learn that one of Italy’s loveliest city parks sits at its heart. Sempione Park (Parco Sempione) covers 116 acres (47 hectares) of central Milan, offering a welcome respite from the surrounding urban hustle and bustle.
Located just behind Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) and adjacent to the fashionable Brera neighborhood, this public park was laid out in the late 1800s. The grounds include gravel paths, the triumphal Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace), a lake, and even the small Arena Civica used for concerts and sporting events. The park’s Torre Branca tower offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire city. Museums inside the park include the Triennale contemporary art and design museum in the Palazzo dell’Arte and the city’s small aquarium.
Sempione Park is one of the best places in Milan to take a relaxing stroll or bike ride, perhaps as part of a walking or bike tour of the city’s highlights. On sunny weekends, many city residents relax in the park—and there’s no reason you shouldn’t follow suit. It’s also an excellent stop on a Segway or rickshaw tour and is especially recommended as a stop on a kid-friendly private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
If visiting Milan with kids, Parco Sempione is a great place for them to run around.
The park is the perfect spot to snap unique photos of the city, so be sure to bring your camera.
The park is best explored on foot; choose comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
There are a number of well-maintained gravel and paved paths accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.
How to Get There
Parco Sempione is in Milan’s city center, an easy walk from the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Cadorna and Cairoli Castello metro stops are both just outside the park. Milan is well connected by train to other Italian cities like Venice, Florence, and Rome.
When to Get There
Sempione Park opens at 6:30am daily and closes at 9pm in winter and as late as 11:30pm in summer. It’s relatively empty in the early morning and late evening hours, but during the day—especially in summer—the park serves as a cool oasis for locals and tourists alike.
Seeing the Nearby Last Supper
Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church and monastery that houses Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic The Last Supper mural, is just a 15-minute walk from Parco Sempione, so it’s easy to combine the two sights into a single tour.