While Parco delle Basiliche is one of the smallest green spaces in Milan (it covers an area of about 41 square meters), it is one of parks the Milanese people are the fondest of. But this is no surprise. First of all, it enjoys an approximately central local in the city, and secondly it is flanked by two of Milan’s most prestigious places of worship: the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio and the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore. The park was, in fact, born of the need of providing a suitable backdrop for the Basilica of San Lorenzo, formerly a swampy field chaotically populated with uninviting buildings.
The park was laid out after World War Two, following a design by Pier Fausto Bagatti Valsecchi and Antonio Grandi. It is crossed by a large thoroughfare (Via Molino delle Armi) and, while the greenery is not particularly interesting, it is quite diverse in terms of species: oaks, elm trees, birches and maple trees cast a pleasant shade to the delight of those who, during the hot season, come here for a picnic. The park, with its vast meadows, is also fitted with two fenced dog areas, playgrounds, and a volleyball court. On top of that, the park is surrounded by bars and cafes and eateries from where visitors can purchase refreshments.
While, indeed, Parco delle Basiliche is not one of the top sights of Milan, it is definitely worth discovering, even if only transiently, in particular if you are curious to get in touch with the life of the Milanese people.
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