After several centuries and some neglect, this private garden was restored to its former glory and thrown open to the public in 1939. Nowadays, it belongs to the municipality of Milan. Located between the city’s public university, general hospital and central synagogue, the garden tempts visitors with three entrances; in a slight change from its original design, the old wall has been replaced by a fence.

A traditional “Italian-style” garden, the space intrigues with distinct architectural and botanical features. While the Baroque fishpond – a true gem found at the park’s western-most end and enclosed by an elegant granite balustrade – serves as the giardini’s main monument, a nearby neoclassical temple by architect Luigi Cagnola and a 17th century aedicule also draw the eye: The latter features a stunning sculptural ensemble depicting Magdalene witnessed by the Angels.

Giardini della Guastalla

On a grander scale, the garden is centred around an open grassy area, shaded by big, old trees like the splendid catalpa with its characteristic impressive twisted trunk and asymmetric crown. Other arboreal delights include beech and tulip trees, silverleaf maples, wild linden, star-leaved gums and many other tree species. Here, eco volunteers have established a botanical path accompanied by a free illustrated guide to point out the different trees and shrubs. And to please all ages, the park also comes with a children’s playground and a designated area for dogs.

When in Milan, the Gardens of Guastalla lure us in with their ancient, harmonious and peculiar atmosphere that invites constant discovery and rediscovery. This is an intimate and charming idyll for all those who love to relax, take a leisurely bike ride, go for a jog or take their kids out to play.