Not only business, finance, fashion, shopping and social life! Taking a walk in Milan is certainly the best way to get to know the most authentic face of one of the most important cities in the world and discover its huge artistic heritage, its surprising green spaces and its most hidden corners.
Here's a guide to the best walking routes for an outdoor walk in Milan, even if you're alone! The main streets, the most beautiful parks, the most picturesque neighbourhoods and the most fascinating places to discover.
If you need an escape from the frenetic pace of Milan, if you want to treat yourself to a simple break in contact with nature or you are travelling, looking for things to do and see while walking around Milan, you are indeed in the right place!
Walks in Milan: 10 routes not to be missed, even at night
Milan is a fast-paced city and those who live there know how important it can be to take a break, to find tranquillity, serenity and maybe even new inspiration! Walking through its streets is certainly the most exciting and, at the same time, the healthiest way to look at it from a new perspective and treat yourself to an unforgettable romantic getaway. Where to go for a walk in Milan? Here are the walking routes that you really can't miss to get around the city, even in just a few days!
1. Piazza Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Say Milan and you immediately think of the Duomo! Here we are in the symbolic, historical and geographical centre of the city, in one of the most famous places in the world and an unmissable stop during one of Milan's most typical walks. Walking around Piazza Duomo means plunging into the beating heart of the city, into a vibrant atmosphere where multiculturalism, art, luxury, history and architectural grandeur are blended like nowhere else in the world. Look up to the sky at the majestic Gothic spires, then continue through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in all its glory; here your itinerary will give you a view of one of the most important theatres in the world, the Teatro della Scala, erected in its prestigious magnificence in a large, elegant and luminous square.
This church, illuminated by a beautiful moon, offers a spectacle of extraordinary beauty, unique in the world. Architecture has never offered me such feelings.Stendhal on the Duomo, 5 November 1816
2. Brera district
A stroll through Milan must include a visit to its most charming and picturesque district, a real gem right in the city centre. Brera is certainly the best choice if you are looking for a romantic walk in the capital city of Milan's area! Squares and cobbled streets, alleyways teeming with art and history and bohemian charm are just some of the many reasons to visit by foot this charming neighbourhood, at any time of day. Treat yourself to a moment of tranquillity and wonder by visiting the unmissable Brera Art Gallery and the courtyards of its historic palace, then continue on to Via Brera: here lose yourself in the numerous shops selling perfumes, prints, fabrics, vintage objects and clothing and then stop by Palazzo Citterio and Palazzo Cusani, a hymn to the Baroque architectural tradition.
How to get to Brera on foot from the city centre? Simple as that! After crossing Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from Piazza Duomo, stand in front of the Teatro alla Scala and take Via Giuseppe Verdi on the right: after a few steps you will already be in Via Brera.
3. Sempione Park
Your outdoor walk around Milan must include a moment of relaxation in the nature of Parco Sempione, the city's true green lung and home to the epic Castello Sforzesco! Designed at the end of the 19th century in the style of English gardens and covering well over 47 hectares, this wonderful park allows you to take a breath of fresh air among its elegant wooded areas and admire the pretty duck pond. Right here, there is a hidden but particularly romantic corner, the secret guardian of the passion of lovers and young lovers: the Little Mermaid Bridge! A small stone bridge on which four cast-iron statues of mermaids stand in their unblemished charm, built as a pedestrian crossing over the San Damiano canal that once flowed through this area of Milan.
Hey! Did you know that Pizzeria Fra Diavolo is right here in the Parco Sempione area? Come and visit us in Via Agostino Bertani 2, for a pizza with a contemporary flavour!
4. Fashion Quadrilateral
Corso Venezia, Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni, Via Montenapoleone: one of the most famous and luxurious dream walks in Milan and the world! Quadrilatero della Moda (Fashion District) is Milan's luxury shopping district, home to the most renowned jewellers, boutiques and ateliers of the most coveted fashion labels. Here, fashion and luxury are at home and top designers display their extraordinary creations, attracting shoppers from all over the world to their windows. Strolling around to shop or admiring the wonderful showrooms of the Quadrilatero della Moda (Fashion District) in their sparkling design compositions is a must if you are looking for a route to visit Milan by foot. You will discover not only luxury shopping but also a lot of culture, thanks to the extraordinary museum collections of the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum and Palazzo Morando.
5. Corso Garibaldi and Corso Como
Welcome to one of Lombardy's most exclusive areas! Strolling through the Porta Garibaldi district is the ideal choice for a walk in the open air in Milan, during the weekend, after work or during leisure hours. Here you can get a taste of Milan's iconic nightlife by treating yourself to the best aperitifs in the area, while at the same time enjoying a moment of peace surrounded by luxurious boutiques, modern skyscrapers and scenic fountains. Start by walking down Corso Garibaldi and head towards Corso Como, where your walk will culminate in Milan's most futuristic heart: Piazza Gae Aulenti. Looking up at the sky and reflecting in its luminous water features, you will discover the new face of a city in constant evolution, projected towards the future, innovation and sustainability. You really can't miss it!
6. Tree Library Park (Isola)
The Biblioteca degli Alberi Milano (BAM) is really much more than a park and is able to offer real outdoor cultural experiences, while remaining in full contact with nature. Strolling through this contemporary botanical garden (the third largest in Milan) located in the heart of Porta Nuova and Isola, you can embrace the greener soul of a city that is increasingly focused on environmental protection. Here, circular forests and modern green fields of the most varied forms are designed as spaces for recreation, relaxation and well-being, within a maze of streets that wind through paths and trails to be discovered. Take a stroll through this brand-new park in Milan and give free rein to your curiosity by reading the elegant poetic verses and tree names engraved on the pavement. The play area? The kids will love it!
Fra Diavolo doubled in Milan! Come and visit us in our second and brand-new shop in the heart of Isola in via Thaon di Revel 10.
7. Abbey of Chiaravalle
The Chiaravalle district is located in the south-east area of Milan and owes its name to the namesake Abbey: this little oasis is only a few kilometres from the centre, but you will feel as if you have landed in a Don Quixotesque seventeenth-century where time seems to have stopped! Here you can enjoy a walk in absolute tranquillity, far from the stress of the city, discovering an old mill, fountains and canals that are still intact and were designed by the monks to irrigate these lands. The Abbey of Chiaravalle is still run by a Cistercian monastic community, making it a spiritual place and a centre of historical, cultural and artistic importance in Milan. A curiosity to explore during your walking tour? It was here, around the year 1000, that the Cistercian monks developed the recipe for Grana Padano PDO as a way of preserving milk.
8. Navigli and New Dock
Another must-have idea for getting around Milan on foot? Definitely a stroll through the Navigli during sunset, to enjoy a lively atmosphere and the inimitable Milanese aperitif in one of the city's most characteristic neighbourhoods. Arrive at Porta Genova and then continue towards the Naviglio Grande and its characteristic Vicolo dei Lavandai, full of scents and colours with its flowered balconies; continue on to discover the entire redeveloped Darsena area, now a meeting point for Milanese and tourists alike for a stroll through the green, in the name of low-cost shopping and healthy fun, especially at weekends! If, on the other hand, you are looking for an unusual itinerary to discover the hidden corners of Milan, you could opt for a bike ride along the 33 km of the Martesana (the Naviglio Piccolo) and pass through festive parks and charming corners full of historical and cultural interest.
9. Indro Montanelli Gardens
Corso Venezia, Via Palestro and Via Manin: on this new open-air itinerary you will come across the oldest public park in Milan! Water pools, pretty little woods, artificial rocks, monuments and statues dedicated to the most important figures in Milanese life make the Indro Montanelli Gardens one of the city's most popular areas for recreation and relaxation. Take a stroll along its tree-lined avenues of elms, lime trees, maples, horse chestnuts and red oaks and admire the spectacular water features, a not-to-be-missed reconciliation with nature that will restore well-being, peace and new inspiration. Are you looking for a fun time for your children or a cultural itinerary? Don't miss the three play areas inside the park or a visit to the Planetarium, Palazzo Dugnani or the Civic Museum of Natural History.
10. CityLife Park
A park between mountains and plains: this was the name of the project submitted to the international competition for the design of the park, and the reason for it is soon revealed! The CityLife park in Milan's Tre Torri is an ultra-modern urban development project in which the architectural and vertical forms of three skyscrapers blend magnificently with a green carpet of trees and nature. A real urban garden with avant-garde squares, pedestrian areas, cycle paths and water and mirror games, ready to add a touch of novelty to your walk around Milan!
Milan has its own magic of dazzling lights and streets to be walked without wondering what the destination is. Because wherever you walk, you will feel like you are at the centre of the world.Francesco Caramagna, writer
Walks near Milan for a trip out of town
Milan and beyond, Lombardy is a region with a natural heritage of immense beauty, full of long and adventurous trails that will lead you to discover beautiful nature reserves, lakes, mountains and rolling hills. If you want to get away from city life and avoid overcrowded destinations, you can certainly opt for a walk in the countryside near Milan: you won't need to go too far and just move a few kilometres away from the city to find yourself completely immersed in the wildest nature! Here are some suggestions for a trip around Milan, with some suggestions for a short or half-day walk along the most popular routes for hikers:
- Parco Agricolo Sud (Milan)
- Cascine di Pioltello Park (Milan)
- Abbey of Morimondo (Milan)
- Parco delle Cave (Milan)
- Trezzo sull'Adda (Milan)
- Ticino Park (Novara)
- Lake Como (Como)
- Riserva della Fagiana (Ticino Park, Magenta)
- Cavallasca Path (Spina Verde Park, Como)
- Trail of Proverbs (Lecco)
- Sentiero del Viandante (Lecco)
Fra Diavolo Milan: eat pizza, take a stroll!
Three different light doughs for every need, a high crust and deliciously gourmet toppings: how about a contemporary pizza for a great taste experience during your walk in Milan? Pizzeria Fra Diavolo is present in two of the most vibrant areas of the city: we are in Via Agostino Bertani 2 (Parco Sempione) and Via Thaon di Revel 10 (Isola) and soon we will be coming to the Citylife area! Choose your favourite pizza and come visit us for an energy boost!