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Parco Sempione is considered the “green lung” in the heart of Milan. As soon as you arrive, you are stunned by the magnificent perspective view between the Sforzesco Castle and the Arch of Peace.

As is the board game Monopoly, the borders of the park are scattered with buildings, in this case historic-artistic monuments, such as the Civic Acquarium, the Art Palace (that today hosts the Art Triennale), the Civic Arena and the Branca Tower, by the Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti.

Since its creation, Parco Sempione has hosted great public events, from the International Exhibition in 1906, to performances and naumachias in the Civic Arena, to sport races, concerts and exhibitions more recently.

Today the Park is a place that exemplifies the multiculturalism and the throbbing life of Milan. Although it’s closed at night, the Park never sleeps. It seems like it has its own life, culture and activities going on at any time. Every ethnic group brings its roots and habits. The permanent background in this big green area is the sound of the bongos of some African-American that you can always find by the sculpture of the artist Arman, Accumulazione musicale e seduta, that provides the perfect acoustics to spread the rhythm in the whole park. The basketball field is the domain of skilled young African players and South American families spend the hot summer Sundays here. Young people meet to smoke in hiding and upwardly mobile Milanese wearing elegant shirts go for an aperitif in the coolest bar inside
the park.

For many people Parco Sempione is also an open-air gym, both in summer and in winter, where there are groups of runners, bodybuilders that work out and show-off their muscles, and groups of people who find the park the perfect place to practice yoga or tai chi. It’s a place where people can be what they don’t have to be outside – they can escape, take off their ties, walk barefoot and forget about the frenetic life of the city.

This is a unique place that can be discovered every day for its peculiarities and oddities. It’s like a abstract of Milan: you can find its history, art, culture, multiculturalism, creative fervor and the commitment to sport… and the little old Milanese man that sees what his park has become in the last 50 years, as he shakes his head and comments in dialect expressing disapproval.