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Milan urban railway tour: Villa Necchi Campiglio

Green oasis with vegetable gardens, trees and plants in the city

by Roxana Iacoban

The second day had arrived and it seemed like we had been there for a lot longer because of the intensity of our encounters and the amount of things we got to see. Due to the changing weather we didn’t get a change to use the Bike sharing service before, so as soon as the rain stopped we went for it. I found out that there are around 100 bike sharing stations all over Milan and that it is pretty easy to buy a pass and use the card. There are also 2 types of bikes: the yellow ones are normal bikes, while the red ones are electric.

Autumn vibes in Milan

Autumn vibes in Milan

We took the yellow bikes from Porta Nuova and we headed towards Porta Venezia. When we got to Porta Venezia, we were really impressed by its architectural beauty, sign of the old town delimitations. We crossed the street from Porta Venezia towards the Idro Montanelli Park, which I had read a little about and was curious to see. It was founded in the 1700’s and it is famous for being the first park open to the public and dedicated to citizen’s leisure and free time. Reading from the map at the entrance, I could see that the park hosts many interesting visiting points, one of which the Natural Science Museum. It must be a really popular destination for kids and families at the weekend, because there was a long line to get there, so unfortunately we had to skip that. But we were very close to Corso Venezia which is a beautiful street that offers a variety of architectural styles and cozy cafès and restaurants.

We wandered a bit along the street admiring the buildings above and in 5 mintutes walk we reached our second destination: Villa Necchi Campiglio. Who would have imagined to find a green oasis with vegetable gardens, trees and plants in the heart of the city? I sure didn’t! We were happy to find out that there was also an Art exhibition inside the Villa and another in one of its gardens: Manualmente Carta. Practically in each room of the villa, we could admire paper made gowns from different periods and places in the world, whereas outdoors there were booths with paper made jewellery and interior deisgn pieces.

Villa Necchi Campiglio, the pool

Villa Necchi Campiglio, the pool

The villa was superb. I found out that it dated back to the 1920’s and it was designed by the Italian architect Piero Portaluppi for the Necchi Campiglio, a family of rich entrepreneurs. In 2001 this beautiful building was donated to the FAI and is now part of a patrimony that includes several architectural pieces and buildings open to the public. It is impressive how the rooms are all different, due to their use or the people they hosted. You can still find something intact as if you had gone back in time peeking in someone’s house: the books, the clothes, the accessories, the souveniers are still there, untouched. Although almost 100 years have passed since it was built and designed, it is still today very impressive for its luxury and beauty. The bathrooms are absolutely stunning, and as I was glaring at them, an old lady who stood next to me said: “These bathrooms are bigger than my own apartment” (just to give you an idea ).

We continued our visit outdoors where we admired the pool, which we found to be the first outdoor heated pool in Milan, the flowers, statues and ornaments. There is also a beautiful restaurant in the garden, surrounded by glass windows to give you the impression that you are in the middle of a natural environment, because immersed in green. I suggest you to book the table in advance, because especially at the weekend it is a very popular place. Our visit came to an end, to we headed back towards Corso Venezia to have the last walk along those great buildings, and down we went at the urban railway station to catch our “passante ferroviario”. Destination: South-Est Milano, Nocetum.

(to be continued…)

Roxana Iacoban

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