A green piece of heaven in a not so beautiful quarter, but as the real islands, it’s worth being seen! This is Parco Vittorio Formentano, also known as Parco Largo Marinai d’Italia. It’s a big rectangular near Corso XXII Marzo, one of the most congested streets of the city! But Milan is also this… it’s a big city and, for this reason, it’s right that in the middle of the traffic there’s a big park!

If you enter in the park from this street, you’ll be welcomed by a huge clean fountain. It has been made in memory of Italian Mariners and, in fact, all those cylinders remind us a ship’s smokestack or bollards! Do you know what bollards are? We bet you’ve already seen them…

They are those thick stones or metal posts used for tying ships to when they are in port. Moreover, there’s also that huge “Onda Vittoria”, a winged woman ready to fly! But have you seen how tall she is? 7 meters! Two floors!

This park is beautiful even during winter! Seeing those smokestacks and that fountain covered by the snow is fantastic! Just think that this place, before becoming a park, was a fruit and vegetable market and that beautiful white building at the end of the park was the market bar… and, before being a market, when Milan was conquered by Austrians more than 150 years ago, here there was the general Radetzky’s pillbox!

The white building is extremely beautiful and, after being a bar, it became a place where many activities take place: concerts, poetry lessons, books presentations… unfortunately, you’re not allowed to get in to visit it!

Inside the park, there are two baby areas with lots of games, even one for babies with handicap called “Let’s play together”… It’s ideal for children who don’t see or move perfectly! For older children, there’s also a basketball and volleyball court and, if you’re with your grandparents, you may learn how to play bocce!

If you came here with your bike, be careful not to run over someone along the paths of the park or not to hurt runners… they love this park and you know they always get distracted by music!

If you have time, we would like to suggest you some areas where to go! With the fountain behind you, take Corso XXII Marzo and go to Piazza Grandi… we want to make you see a big sculpture situated in a green space of the city… it’s only 5 minutes away by foot! You’ll find it on your left. The fountain is more than 100 years and it was made in honour of Giuseppe Grandi, an artist who created this work of art in memory of the Five Days of Milan in the square near here!

But the most interesting thing of this sculpture consists in what you don’t see, something that no one knows! Right under your feet, there’s a Second World War shelter! Do you know what a war shelter is? There were more than 100 in Milan! When the city was bombed during this war or when the enemy aircraft was seen by radars, sirens stated to ring. In this way, people knew that had to come back home or go take shelter. These shelters were located under the ground of the city and here, under this fountain, there’s one of them… just think that it could host 400 persons!

If you still feel like walking around this quarter, turn left in Via Compagnoni and then turn right in Via Giuriati… Well, it’s hard to decide which street between Compagnoni and Giuriati is the most beautiful one… two streets with amazing houses… a very calm quarter. At the end of via Giuriati, you won’t believe your eyes: a very congested street, but here there’s a fantastic place where we want to show you… the Museo del Fumetto!

From the fountain of Parco Formentano, in only 10 minutes of walk, you can reach another particular fountain: the Fontana di Pinocchio. For a very long time, there was no water in it. It was ruined by writings and wastes, but now the city of Milan finally took care of it and, in our opinion, it’s worth being seen! We take you there, making you go through a very nice street…

From the Fontana dei Marinai, go left and take via Goffredo Mameli, in order to reach Corso Indipendenza… You’ll see a smiling child on the pedestal: this is Pinocchio! He’s near the water with a cat and a fox who want to reach a baby who’s saved from temptations! C’mon, we don’t need to explain you his story, you already know it!

If you want to go to the city centre both by foot or by tram, you can quickly reach Piazza V Giornate, where you can link the story of the Austrian general Radetsky to the one of the Five Days of Milan. Moreover, you can also see the Giuseppe Grandi’s sculpture!

If you got hungry, manoxmano suggests you some commercial activities in this quarter! (Steel Cafè; Wakaba; Balubà; Isa e Vane; La Taverna)

USEFUL INFORMATION

viale Umbria ang. Corso XXII Marzo, Milan

www.comune.milano.it

Opening time:
The park is always open

Entrances:
Corso XXII Marzo
viale Umbria
via Anfossi
via Cadore

how to get there:
Bus line 45, 62, 66, 92
Tram line 12, 27
Train (Porta Vittoria)

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