This is the second public park designed in Milan, more than 100 years ago! Why is it called Sempione?

Because of its location, exactly on the main road that from the Duomo – through Arco della Pace – to Sempione Pass… An alpine pass connecting Italy to the rest of Europe!

Once, the whole area was the parade ground where troops on horseback prepared before leaving for war or get ready to defend the city! Now it is a beautiful park crossed by watercourses, lanes and paths… There are also some hillocks, statues and a gorgeous bridge called “mermaids bridge”, a fountain and some particular buildings… There are a library, an aquarium, an art palace, a civic arena and a very tall tower from where you can admire the view!

You will surely not get bored while ringingaringaround this beautiful park! Your dog will have a lot of space to run around with many other dogs: 4 dog areas – one in each corner of the park!

You can enter from many different entrances… Choose the one you prefer according to what you are going to do: you can directly enter from Castello Sforzesco and admire its courtyards… Or from via Gadio, sideways the moat behind the castle…

If your destination is the Civic Aquarium or the Civic Arena (you can visit only in particular occasions!) enter from via Legnano. Otherwise, if you want to hop on the train in the playground area go in from viale Elvezia or via Bertani… There are another two entrances from piazza Sempione, in front of Arco della Pace, exactly on the opposite side of the castle! From viale Milton or from via Mario Pagano, you can climb to the top of Torre Branca (Branca Tower) and just a bit further (or closer, depending on where you are coming from) in via Alemagna you’ll see the imposing entrance to Triennale art palace.

At the centre of the park you will find a pond and watercourses with ducks, goslings, big red and black fishes – plumped up thanks to the visitors feeding them – splashing about… You can’t miss Ponte delle Sirenette (Mermaids Bridge), better known as the bridge of the Ghisini sisters because it was made out of cast iron (ghisa in Italian)… Well… It has not always been here!

Once upon a time, when it was said to be the lovers bridge, it connected Naviglio riversides at via Mascagni level, along Cerchia dei Navigli (Navigli circle)… When it was then covered and asphalted, the beloved bridge was dismantled and moved to Parco Sempione where you can admire it now! From here, heading towards the Arena stop a second in front of Fontana dell’Acqua Marcia (Putrid Water Fountain).

As the another two fountains in the city it doesn’t work anymore, however, a long time ago, the Milanese found its sulphur water to be a universal remedy for aches and pains… This became a meeting place where people gathered to sip this water – smelling like rotten eggs – while sitting on the benches and chatting, maybe not to think about the horrible water stench!

Now, after seeing and enjoying this beautiful park, if you want to sit down on the grass or on a bench to rest, I think it is time to tell you the secret hidden among Parco Sempione ancient trees. It is told that in the foggy winter nights – when everything is covered by the thick blanket of the cold night air – a mysterious figure appears in the distance and gets quickly closer floating like a ghost! Maybe you do not believe in ghosts but you must know that once upon a time, people organized night searches with torches and forks looking for the Black Lady wandering throughout the park… She is dressed in black, and her black veil covers her face, it is said she is a beautiful lady, or better, a beautiful ghost!

Once she meets somebody, she holds out her cold hand leading the unlucky through the paths in the woods where the fog keeps getting thicker and thicker, until she reaches a gate in front of a huge villa… Now, the Black Lady opens the gate with a huge key and takes her victim to the halls of the villa, where a spooky music is being played: they start dancing together… Hours of endless dances and the lady never takes off her veil! So scary! But who this black lady is and what is she hiding under the veil? At the break of day, the poor victim – that has now deeply fallen in love – takes off her veil, and what does he see? A skull! Yes, a skull with no eyes! Help! This terrible vision makes the victim run away…

The legend has it that all the men that have seen the Black Lady get crazy enough to spend the rest of their lives looking for the villa where they danced with her! Do you want to take a stroll here in a cold winter night too?

If you need to relax after this scary story just look around and if it is time for lunch or a refreshing snack, without leaving the gardens, you will be able to satisfy any of your desires… A slice of pizza, a sandwich, an ice cream, a fresh drink… the decision it’s up to you! Besides 6 food booths you can also find Bar Bianco and Triennale Bar where you will surely find what you are looking for! If you are only thirsty, remember that water is the best thing to drink and you will find at least four drinking fountains! Otherwise, close to the Park, we advise you Nuvò Pizza Place family restaurant.

Don’t forget that it is even possible to organize guided visits to see the strangest and unique plant species by calling at 02.88464456. You will experience two botanical tours organized by Voluntary Ecological Guards that will provide you a helpful illustrated guide!

Here you can also find a small library, Biblioteca Comunale (Town Library) – in Monte Tordo area – next to Napoleon statue… Open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.30am till 2.30pm, on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2pm till 7pm, on Saturdays from 10.30am till 6.30pm while closed on Sundays and Mondays. Well, in this beautiful park in Milan city centre you can find anything and everything!


entrance via Pagano
entrance via Bertani
entrance Piazza Castello
entrance viale Elvezia
entrance viale Milton
entrance via Gadio
entrance via Alemagna
entrance via Legnano

Opening times:
From October to April from 6.30am till 9pm
In May from 6.30am till 10pm
From June to September from 6.30am till 11.30pm

how to get there:
tram line 1-2-4-12-14-19-27
bus line 43-57-61-70-94
tube line M1 Cairoli/Cadorna – M2 Cadorna/Lanza

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