The Guastalla Garden is the oldest park in Milan. This consideration alone could motivate tourists to pay a visit, since one can rightfully expect to find here some traces of the taste the old Milanese would pour in landscaping a park of this kind. Stretching on the southeast side of the city, the garden was laid out in1555 when Ludovica Torelli della Guastalla, a noblewoman keen on educating the children born of the disreputable noble families of the mid 16th century Milan, decided to create a proper venue where the little ones would be brought up.
Despite the repeated restoration works (in 1938 – realized by Renzo Gerla and Amedeo Fassi – and in 1998), the 12,000 square meters large garden still retains much of its old character. But on the other hand, in fact, it is a little too crowded to suit the tastes of those in search of a tranquil refuge. But, after all, this only speaks about its popularity. And indeed, since its opening as a public park in 1939, its appeal increased gradually, given after the 20th century restorations, the venue assumed the typical poignant look characteristic of the Italian style gardens. While the greenery is not as lush as one might expect, the alleys are beautifully laid out, there are plenty of statues (the statuary with Mary Magdalena as centerpiece is especially notable) and a lake in the center of the park (the lake is surrounded by an exquisite fence-like structure of stone and metal designed in a Baroque style). Also of note is a temple-like structure built in a neoclassical style by Luigi Gangnola.
A dog friendly area can also be spotted in the Guastalla Garden. Visitors can also jog or ride a bike if in the mood for dynamic pastimes.
The Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro was built between 1472 and 1482. It is best known for containing elements of Bramante’s trompe d’oeil technique
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio of Milan was built in the 4th century by Saint Ambrose himself. Its crypt contains parts of the mortal remains of the saint.
The Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery was built between 1865 and 1877. It is now home to some of Milan’s historical cafes and renowned fashion boutiques.