A few steps from Mi­lan...

Mi­lan is a mix­ture of art, cul­ture, shop­ping and life­style and its out­ly­ing ar­eas are equally at­trac­tive. Dis­cover our pick of th­ese fab­u­lous des­ti­na­tions for an un­miss­able outof-town trip. By Si­mona P.K. Daviddi

Where Milan - - OUT OF TOWN -

Our tour be­gins on the out­skirts of Mi­lan at the 17th-cen­tury Villa Ar­conati 1 (www.vil­laar­conati.it). Known also as ‘the small Ver­sailles of Lom­bardy’, it is set within the vast green spa­ces of the Groane Park in Bol­late. This is a splen­did ex­am­ple of Lom­bardy Baroque ar­chi­tec­ture, and vis­i­tors are wel­comed in its fres­coed rooms, while sum­mer evenings are jazzed up with a se­ries of con­certs and events in its mag­nif­i­cent gar­dens. We rec­om­mend a visit to the Villa Vis­conti Bor­romeo Litta 2 (www.vil­lalit­ta­lainate.it) which is just a short dis­tance away in Lainate. This neo-clas­si­cal jewel of ar­chi­tec­ture is sur­rounded by a lovely park that earned the ti­tle of the ‘Most Beau­ti­ful His­tor­i­cal Park in Italy’ in 2016. The Villa is renowned for its Nyphaeum and spec­tac­u­lar wa­ter fea­tures. A mix­ture of sa­cred and pro­fane – the Metropoli­tan City area is in­ter­spersed with numer­ous abbeys. In fact, there are so many that there is even a Road of Abbeys (www.stradadel­leab­bazie.it). Our route starts from the Abbey of Chiar­avalle 3 , dom­i­nated by an im­pos­ing, richly fres­coed 14th-cen­tury bell tower, and con­tin­ues on­wards to the Abbey of Vi­boldone 4 , one the most beau­ti­ful medieval com­plexes in Lom­bardy, un­til we reach Mi­ra­sole 5 , a 13th-cen­tury monastery which, with its numer­ous moats, re­sem­bles a fortress. Af­ter trav­el­ling for a few more kilo­me­ters, in a south­west­erly di­rec­tion, we come to the Abbey of Mo­ri­mondo 6 , a for­mer Cis­ter­cian monastery ren­o­vated in Gothic style.


The area hous­ing the abbeys is also the heart of the large Parco Agri­colo Sud Mi­lano (www.par­co­a­gri­colo­sud­mi­lano.it). The Park boasts a rich his­toric and agri­cul­tural her­itage and com­prises old farm­steads, wa­ter­ways and im­por­tant res­i­den­tial com­plexes, in­clud­ing Gag­giano 7 , which, with its small, pas­tel-coloured houses nestling on both banks of the Nav­iglio Grande, is well worth a visit. This charm­ing ham­let can be ac­cessed from the city via a scenic bi­cy­cle track skirt­ing the canal. The Marte­sana Canal also of­fers views of rare beauty as it flows to­wards the Adda river. Ru­ral cen­tres are in­ter­spersed with ex­panses of green­ery (an ab­so­lute must is a visit to the Adda Park which can also be crossed by bike or on horse­back) and charm­ing ur­ban cen­tres, in­clud­ing Crespi d’Adda 8 , a late 19th-cen­tury work­ers’ vil­lage built up around a tex­tiles fac­tory and a UNESCO world her­itage site (www.vil­lag­giocrespi.it). How­ever, Mi­lan is not only renowned for its canals. Ly­ing on the out­skirts of the city, just be­hind the air­port of Li­nate, we find the Idroscalo 9 , a large ar­ti­fi­cial lake set within green sur­round­ings (www.idroscalo. info). The area of­fers all types of fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing jog­ging, horse­back rid­ing and bi­cy­cle paths, boat, ca­noe and ped­alò hire, recre­ational fish­ing and even rugby pitches.


If the weather’s gloomy, don’t de­spair! This is a great op­por­tu­nity to visit a mu­seum! Per­haps a his­toric one like the Alfa Romeo Mu­seum 10 (www. museoal­faromeo.com) in Arese, for­merly home to the pres­ti­gious fac­tory. This mu­seum has six floors of mod­els that have made motoring his­tory, as well as pro­to­types and mem­o­ra­bilia. An­other must-visit op­tion is the Gal­le­ria Cam­pari

11 (www.cam­pari.com) in Sesto San Gio­vanni, a trip to dis­cover the mer­chan­dise and cock­tails that have made the brand fa­mous. For lovers of de­sign, the Kartell­museo 12 (www.kartell. com) in Noviglio is a must see. Lo­cated in one of

Lom­bardy’s most no­table ex­am­ples of in­dus­trial ar­chi­tec­ture, it show­cases more than 8,000 ob­jets d’art and 5,000 draw­ings as­so­ci­ated with the fa­mous brand. An­other noteworthy mu­seum is Mu­mac 13 (www.mu­mac.it) in Bi­nasco: a sleek, red­lac­quered build­ing, it houses a spec­tac­u­lar dis­play of cof­fee-mak­ing ma­chines.


As with ev­ery ‘city on the move’, Mi­lan is con­stantly en­riched with new at­trac­tions. Three in par­tic­u­lar de­serve a spe­cial men­tion. The first is Scalo Mi­lano City Style 14 (www.scalomi­lano.it) in Lo­cate Tri­ulzi. This new metropoli­tan district for fash­ion­istas, where de­sign, fash­ion and food are rep­re­sented by in­ter­na­tional su­per stars and iconic brands, of­fers a 360-de­gree shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. The se­cond in­no­va­tion is found in the area that hosted Expo in 2015 and which has now be­come Ex­pe­ri­ence Mi­lano 15 (www.ex­pe­ri­encemi­lano.it), a four thou­sand square me­tre park (open from May to Novem­ber) where vis­i­tors can at­tend per­for­mances, con­certs and sport­ing events. Other high­lights in­clude the fab­u­lous Tree of Life show and the ex­hi­bi­tions staged in the fu­tur­is­tic Palazzo Italia. The third in­no­va­tion is Mi­lan’s lat­est at­trac­tion ded­i­cated to sky­div­ing. Aero-Grav­ity 16 , the largest freefall sim­u­la­tor in the world, has just opened in Pero. This is a so­phis­ti­cated contraption, de­signed to over­come the force of grav­ity and sup­port flight, of­fer­ing vis­i­tors the thrill of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what it feels like to jump from an air­plane at an al­ti­tude of 4,500 me­tres.



Museo Alfa Romeo

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