This special botanical garden – invisible to passers-by, in the city centre – is almost 400 years old and it was the garden of a palace! It isn’t very big yet very fascinating and it will be easy for you to walk around alone and discover lesser-known plants and flowers… It is surrounded by tall buildings so write down the address (there are three different entrances) because you might not see it so easily, that is why it is called Milanese secret garden! You will feel to be in a wood… Very tall plants with the sun filtering through their branches, thus creating a magical atmosphere! A cool shelter to go during the hottest days!
Just one recommendation: mind your step – there are flowerbeds everywhere – and be respectful of the nature and silence ruling in this mysterious place!
You must know that in the same building (being also part of the Museum itself) there is something else to visit… The Astronomical Museum. Do you know how the ancients studied the starry sky? If you are curious just pop around – but not on Saturdays or Sundays because it is closed! Otherwise, if you prefer to take a stroll in one of the most characteristic areas of Milan, well, this is the best occasion… Quite all the streets are pedestrian areas so that your parents can enjoy their walk too.
Look around because this is an historical area where you can notice some old shop signs… “Wines and liquors” on the signs while actually clothes are sold. If you left the botanical garden in via Fiori Oscuri and you go right towards via Borgo Nuovo, for example, try to stick your face to the window of Antica Farmacia di Brera (Brera Ancient Chemist’s)… Look, it’s more than 100 years old, with its wooden counters and showcases… A notice outside says that this chemist’s belonged to Carlo Erba, famous pharmacist that founded the first Italian drug industry. It is open on weekdays and Saturday mornings only!
If it is lunch time and you are right here, in via Borgo Nuovo, 26, we suggest you Borgonuovo 26, a bar where you can have a sandwich or a salad with an excellent price/quality ratio! On the opposite corner – towards via Brera – you can see an ancient paint factory, Ditta Crespi, with its old golden sign! Close by there is a very famous bar, Jamaica-bar: a meeting place for writers, painters and people from the show business… Take a look if your parents decide to stop by and have a coffee!
We inform you that you are right next to the Accademia di Brera if you were interested in going in just even to have a look at the courtyard… It is a wonderful building! If you head straight from via Fiori Oscuri, and cross (don’t worry, there will be no cars) via Brera, head on to via Fiori Chiari.
This is a peculiar area that has now become quite touristic… Small restaurants, with tables outside in the summer- and wintertime, food pictures and menus translated in different languages… It is better not to stop here to eat, you may have some unpleasant surprises as for the prices! On your left go to via Madonnina, a beautiful street taking you to Piazza del Carmine, right in front of this beautiful church having the same name… Do you know that here you can express a wish to Sant’Espedito? It is said he really cares about schoolboys and students wishes… So if you are worried for a test, an interrogation or for your report cards… Well, go in and express your wish!
If you want to eat a good pizza for lunch without wasting much time, we advise you to stop at Pizzeria Sibilla in Via Mercato, a very simple place serving an excellent pizza, you will not be disappointed. If you want to continue your walk after having lunch, from via Pontevetro turn left in via dell’Orso and a little far on the left, not in Via Ciovasso yet in via Ciovassino (what weird names!), there is a very pleasant and silent small street… Turn right and you will find to be in via Melone and at the end of the street you will be in via Brera. You can decide whether go back from where you came by turning left. Otherwise, if you turn right, go to via dei Giardini, two beautiful streets, that will take you to some gardens known to the few… Giardini Perego (Perego Gardens): an oasis of peace and tranquillity where your little siblings will have fun thanks to the wooden games in the playground!
If you have gone back to the beginning of via Brera, towards the botanical garden, and you still want to discover many beautiful things around here, you can go to via Solferino and turn left in via dei Chiostri until you reach the beautiful Basilica di San Simpliciano (San Simpliciano Basilica)… Inside you can find some beautiful cloisters that, alas, are almost always closed (except for the open courts days)… Yet since you are close by you can try and go in, you will be astonished!
Alternatively, you can end your walk taking a stroll in Corso Garibaldi (pedestrian area), a lively street and teeming with shops! When you find via Palermo, turn right and after reaching Largo Treves, you can say you know this area inside out!
Do you manage to walk for another 7 minutes?? From Largo Treves go to via Statuto and go on and keep walking – after crossing the widening – up to via Volta, 5… Here you can find a very peculiar and colourful small shop, Latteria Volta, where Sara – the owner – prepares homemade desserts: cakes, biscuits, panettoni and ice creams. Shelves and counters are filled with delicacies, from sweets to bonbons, to cheese… Incredible! It is surely worth your last effort!
Via Brera 28 – side entrance
Via Fiori Oscuri 4 – side entrance
telephone: 02.50314696 or 0250314693
Open February/March/April/May/June/September/October: from Monday to Friday 9am/midday – 2pm/5pm
Open February/March/April/May/June/September/October: on Saturdays 10am/5pm
Open November/December/January: from Monday to Friday 9am/midday – 2pm/4pm
Open March/April/May/June/September/October: on Saturdays 10am/4pm
price: free entrance
How to get there:
tram line 1-2-4-12-14
tube line M2 Lanza Piccolo Teatro/ M3 Montenapoleone
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