Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions

posted in: Europe, Italy 9

Parco Sempione is the largest green space in the city of Milan. It is located at the rear of Sforzesca Castle, in the northwest of the city. Covering an area of about 95 acres (38 hectares), it is a perfect haven to relax, to walk, jog, to bike ride or just about anything you wish, to fly away the time. The shaded area, sculptures and ornate fountains are especially inviting. Flora and fauna abound here as is the tranquillity in some areas where it is not crowded. This peaceful haven is popular amongst tourists as well as Milanese who seek respite from their hectic city life.

Parco Sempione, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

First established in 1888, the park was used as a hunting ground by the Sforza family, the Dukes of Milan. Then it was landscaped when Napolean came, with a few orchards. In 1891, a large park was constructed for the public. Today, Parco Sempione has a number of attractions on site which should not be missed when you are visiting this peaceful and tranquil haven. There are 5 attractions which are made up of the Sforza Castle, Arch of Peace, an aquarium, a sporting arena, and Torre Branca, one of the tallest tower in Milan.

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1 | Sforza Castle in Parco Sempione

Sforzesco Castle, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas

Sforza Castle is a landmark in Milan. An impressive red brick fortress which was initially built in the 14th century by the Visconti family. The Castle was almost destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. It underwent massive improvements and reconstruction later in the 15th century when the Sforza family became the Dukes of Milan, to be one of the largest palaces in Europe. Today, Sforza Castle is home to several museums that houses valuable art and masterpieces. Notably, Michelangelo’s unfinished last work, the Rondanini Pietà and Sala delle Asse, frescoes by Da Vinci.

Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 17:30

2 | Arco della Pace

Arco della Pace, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) is a symbol of Milan and marks one of the historic gates. This was the strategic route taken by Napoleon when he invaded Northern Italy. This triumphal monument, is a beautiful structure made of marble and was completed in 1838. Standing at 23 metres and topped with horse-drawn chariots. is a landmark not to be missed when visiting Milan.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

3 | Arena Civica

Also in Parco Sempione, there is Arena Civica which is one of Milan’s most popular sporting venues. The official name is Arena Gianni Brera, named after the famous Italian writer and journalist. Designed by Luigi Canonica, the Arena Civica was Napolean’s mini-colosseum which he opened with a chariot race in 1807. This Neoclassical stadium hosts major sporting events such as soccer, rugby games and concerts. The Arena is open daily to the public.

It is quite a plain stadium but the entrance looked okay.

Address: Viale Giorgio Byron, 2, 20154 Milano MI, Italy

4 | Acquario Civico in Parco Sempione

The Acquario Civico di Milano (Civic Aquarium of Milan) is tucked away in a convenient corner of Parco Sempione. Opened in 1906, it is beautiful. but a rather small aquarium. Home to over one-hundred species of fish, it tells a story of the mountain streams to seabeds. The are video presentations on the rare species.

The Acquario Civico is open to the public every day except Monday. Entrance is free.

Address: Viale Gadio, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

5 | Torre Branca

Torre Branca is no ordinary tower!. It is narrow and made completely of steel. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is one the City’s tallest buildings. The Tower was designed by Gio Ponti and erected in just two-and-half months in time for the 5th Triennale exhibition in 1933.

Take the elevator to the top, step out to see the incredible views over the City of Milan, the skyscrapers both old and new as well as the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Opening times varies:

On mid April-mid October: 

Tues and Thurs 9.30pm-midnight | Wed 10.30am-12.30pm/4pm-6.30pm/9.30pm-midnight | Fri 2.30pm-6pm/9.30pm-midnight | Sat and Sun 10.30am-12.30am/2.30pm-7.30pm/9.30pm-midnight. 

On mid October-mid April: 

Wed 10.30am-12.30am/4pm-6.30pm | Sat 10.30am-1pm/3pm-6.30pm/8.30-midnight | Sun 10.30am-2pm/2.30pm-7pm.

Full ticket €5.

NB: The Torre Branca is closed for visits in case of bad weather.

Torre Branca
Parco Sempione, viale Milton
M1-M2 Cadorna FN

Practical information when visiting Parco Sempione

1. Map of Parco Sempione

To support your visit to the Park, below is a map of Parco Sempione in Milan with markers for the 5 attractions I have listed on this post.

2. Plan ahead

When visiting Milan, consider joining a couple of city guided tours to enhance your experiences. There are hundreds of unmissable activities in Milan for all ages and interests. Plan ahead and secure your ticket/s especially if you are planning on visiting “The Last Supper” at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Pre-book your tickets and stay flexible with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before. Save time, avoid queues and purchase skip the line tickets for major attractions. The following may be of interest to you:

3 | Read related articles

The following are some articles on Milan that may support your visit to the City:

So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Parco Sempione? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Have a splendid time exploring Parco Sempione.


We are all affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic conditions and by publishing my posts, I am not advocating travel at this time. However, I shall continue to publish posts and share my experiences on past travels so we can all stay inspired together. We can certainly plan our future travels and/or make a travel list in the least. I hope you will enjoy reading my travel stories and #staysafe #stayinspired for when this will #soonbeover . For more and up to date information on the pandemic, go to WHO International

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Parco Sempione is the largest green space in Milan. A public park since 1891, this oasis of natural habitat is home to 5 "must see" attractions.  This is a quick read for now to #travel later via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/
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9 Responses

  1. Georgina

    Absolutely. Parco Sempione is a beautiful retreat and a breather from the hustle and bustle of Milan. Don’t get me wrong, Milan is superb as a getaway but in the midst of it all, Parco Sempione provides an oasis of greenery and means to watch the world go by 🙂

  2. adewyatt

    You know that Milan along with Amsterdam is our top two places in Europe to visit after Lockdowns especially the Cathedral after your IG posts. However, in a bust city it is always good to have something to hand when you need some open space to relax and reflect. Thanks for this.

  3. Georgina

    Thank you so much for your compliments, Ghulam. So glad you have visited Milan and experienced the beautiful city. I hope to keep writing despite our current conditions of #stayinghome – please do subscribe and join our tribe at mytimelessfootsteps. Would love to connect with you. Have a lovely week ahead.

  4. Ghulam Mohyudin

    It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

  5. PedroL

    I will 🙂 there are so many other places close to Milan I ‘need’ to discover, such as Turin and Lake Como (and probably many other!!) eheh PedroL

  6. Georgina

    Thank you so very much, Pedrol. Have an awesome visit to Milan when you do. Do return here and share your experiences.

  7. PedroL

    thank you for such kind feedback Georgina 🙂 will save your article for the next time i visit Milan eheh 🙂 all the best, PedroL

  8. Georgina

    Hello Pedrol, greetings to you too 🙂 Sempione is pretty cool and of course, you would have a splendid time the next time you visit Milan. We will all, one day be able to travel freely…stay safe. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments. I appreciate it very much.

  9. PedroL

    Such a cool park Georgina 🙂 when I visited to Milan I didn’t went here, maybe for a future trip eheh stay safe and greetings from Portugal, PedroL

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