We challenge you: Find a secret place in Milan to enjoy a free botanical tour
What is the best thing about this place is that it is located in the very centre of Milan but it is rarely included in the routes of the tourists.
Milan, as any other big tourist destination, has lots of secret places, which it keeps only for the most curious travellers. Such a little, green secret you will find just a few streets away from the La Scala Opera House, on the back side of the popular Brera Gallery – this is the Botanical Garden of Milan (Orto Botanico di Brera).
The Garden is part of the University of Milan, while a walk through it is like a stroll in someone’s yard in the country. From their very beginning the alleys lead you through sweet-scented herbs – basil, thymus, salvia, oregano – each with its own name-plate. You can simply walk down the alleys, gently rub the leaves between your fingers and breathe in one scent after the other.
After the herbs, here come the vegetables and the flowering bulbs (in spring). There is a table with metal chairs where you can rest under the shadows in a hot summer day. There are also benches, blooming shrubs, as well as one of the oldest Ginkgo biloba trees in entire Europe.
History at a glance
This place has a centuries-old history. In the past the garden was used by the students in medicine and pharmacy – established back in 1774 at the order of Austrian Empress Maria Teresa. Earlier, there was a green spot of the Society of Jesus at this place.
Bonus: Every Thursday (except on bank holidays) there is a brief tour with a guide from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The tours are organised for small groups of up to 10 people and only after advance reservation on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful information: The Brera Botanical Garden is situated right behind the Brera Gallery, on 28, Brera Street. It is free of charge. Working hours: Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (with a break between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.); Saturday – from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Sunday – closed.
Here’s a map:
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