What could be more perfect start of the year than a nice walk in a beautiful park in this perfect weather? Nothing else could give so positive feelings than blossoming trees in the green park in the middle of the winter, funny ducks playing in the water inside the park and kids playing all around.
This all was inside the one of the most beautiful parks of Milan, called Parco Sempione. This is a large city park in historic center of Milan, which includes several small museums in the area, as well as the Arch of Peace that is the city gate of Milan (called also Porta Sempione) and on the other side was Sforza Castle. But between them there is a nice large park, with some statues and additional buildings. The complex includes the Arena Civica (officially called Arena Gianni Brera), which was opened since 1807 and can hold 18.000-30.000 spectators. As it was January 1, still almost everything was closed, and the arena as well. That’s why we couldn’t get inside to check the old stadium architecture from the other side.
But not very far from this there was another nice place to visit, which was not only open, but also free for visitors on this day (usually full price for ticket is 5 eur). What a luck! 🙂 This was one of the nicest places we’ve been in Milan, a small, but quite colorful Acquario Civico Di Milano. The Civic Aquarium of Milan is the third oldest aquarium in Europe. It has over 100 different types of underwater life in several tanks. The building is not very big, just 2 floors, but it’s worth to visit, as what you’ll see inside will inspire you. All the colors of the lakes and seas are shown here, small and big fishes, sea urchins, smiling stingrays and many more. The facade of the building includes a Neptune statue, the Roman God of water and the sea.
And here we are, one of the main attractions of Milan, the 15th century castle of Sforza, built by Francesco Sforza the Duke of Milan. Now it houses several city museums and art collections. The list of museums is big, but as I already said, lots of places were closed on this day. But there were few places open, and a small queue was waiting to enter. The entrance was free on them as well. One of the rooms that we got in was showing The Rondanini Pieta by Michelangelo, the marble sculpture on which he worked until the last days of his life, in 1564. The sculpture shows Virgin Mary mourning over the body of dead Christ.
As we still had some time, we tried to check one more museum related to Science. On the way to it there was an awesome Basilica Sant’ Ambrogio, which was again closed, but still people were coming here to check the beautiful architecture.
After spending some time here we continued walking on the direction of Science museum, but we were disappointed seeing it closed. but there was another building just next to it, that many people were entering. We were curious to see what’s inside, as the building was very simple with no any special architecture, any calling mark. But we couldn’t believe our eyes on what we saw inside. This was one of the hidden treasures, that we were happy to discover, an ancient church and monastery called San Vittore al Corpo. This was the first church that we entered in Milan after arrival. It was all like decorated with gold, all the walls and ceiling were decorated with paintings and carvings. On the both sides of the church there were small scenes from the Bible, such as the birth of Christ. This place was so quiet and so peaceful, that we could spend hours here. But it was getting darker, we were hungry and needed to find something opened, which was not easy on this day. And after long useful walks in the streets only McDonald’s could “save” us :)))
And what could we do at this time, when everything is closed, but is yet early to go home? Exactly, to go back again to the Duomo, to walk a bit on the square, to check what they have on their small Christmas markets, check out the oldest Shopping Mall named as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which was all shining in bright Chtistmas lights and was full of people all around.