First of all we would like to make things clear and explain you the reason why we decided to talk about horse racing rather than equestrianism. In both cases people sit on a saddle, however, while equestrianism involves many disciplines, horse racing is held only in horse racecourses.

You should know that before cars were introduced, horses were the only mean of transportation, furthermore, riding a horse was a fundamental part of the education system addressed to upper-class young boys and girls. With cars arrival, equestrianism became a mere sport, a leisure activity involving many disciplines, among which horse racing.

Horse racing has a long history, occurring in Ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire where races in bigae – two-horse single-seated chariots – were held. To date, trot races (remember that horse gaits are walk, trot and gallop) – with a driver sitting on a sulky (a two-wheeled lightweight cart) – are held.

In order to do gallop races horses should be thoroughbred, very fast and mounted by jockeys who must be light to let the horse ride as fast as possible! The star of the horse-riding is the horse itself, actually jockeys are known to the very few.

Indeed some memorable horses are part of the Italian riding-horse history such as Ribot – the greatest galloper ever – and Tornese – an extraordinary trotter – also known as Sauro Volante (Flying Chestnut)… Not to mention Varenne, il Capitano (the Captain) – the best trotter of our times that beat every possible and imaginable record. These horses are well-known all over the world!

Even though horse races date back to more than 150 years ago, San Siro horse racecourse. ) was built later. So, where were they held? In the famous Castello Sforzesco parade ground (the current Parco Sempione) and – even before – in a former countryside area where today you can find Corso Buenos Aires – one of the most congested areas of the city!

Indeed, the horse racecourse was built 100 years ago as a leisure area, and it could still be used for this purpose if people started appreciate this charming place. It is surrounded by a very long wall preventing the extraordinary view from the outside, hiding one of the most suggestive and interesting places of Milan.

A huge green area – almost unreal – where you can smell inebriating scents and from where you will be able to see – during clear days – the Alps.

If you go and visit it during a horse race you will be mesmerized by the colourful jockeys jackets and by the thoroughbred elegance while marching in front of the galleries.

If you go and visit it during a horse race you will be mesmerized by the colourful jockeys jackets and by the thoroughbred elegance while marching in front of the galleries.

How humongous and majestic! It was designed by Leonardo da Vinci – the greatest genius ever – for Milan Castle’s prince. Leonardo was supposed to finish it and give it to him, yet the horse was completed just a few years later and trotted here only 15 years ago.

You will surely not get bored here: besides enjoying the beautiful view – with or without races – you can also reach the stables to see all those valuable horses, play surrounded by greenery and take a picture of your younger brother – if you have one – while sitting on a pony’s back.

You will also find bars, restaurants and a breathtaking Botanical Garden – you shouldn’t miss – with more than 70 different plant species you will hardly find throughout the city and along with a lovely pond teeming with ducks. Where else?

Finally, we would like to tell you it’s a pity you can’t visit the former De Montel stables. They were beautiful, yet after being abandoned they are unstable – so don’t get close because they are very unsafe!
One last thing… Have you noticed that there’s people playing golf – or better shooting balls hell for leather? Well, this is another sport story, just know this is the most important driving range. If you’d like to have a look you will surely find somebody willing to give you more detailed information, otherwise discover more with your smartphone clicking on the “Golf” section.

Look at “Disport in Sport” itinerary or choose your favourite sport and let manoxmano guide you!


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