Picnics are a great way to make the most of the summer weather; sitting on the grass or on a park bench (hopefully under the cloudless sky) and sharing food in the open air is both a visual and convivial pleasure. An informal but highly enjoyable way to bring people together, perfect for couples, friends or the whole family - not forgetting your four-legged friends of course - or to celebrate a special day: discover all the secrets for a perfect picnic in Milano!
10 picnic - perfect places in Milano
Milano has many hidden places that are great for a day spent outdoors, where you can relax and spread out your picnic blanket safely. Location is important so let's take a look at a few that satisfy every need:
- Parco Sempione: Milano’s most iconic park, is an ideal location for eating alfresco whist still remaining connected to the heart of the city. It’s great for switching off from the chaos, a place where you can spread a blanket on one of the many grassy areas and enjoy your picnic under the leafy shade of the trees in the landscaped area.
- Parco Indro Montanelli: another large park in the heart of the city, you can create your own little corner of paradise in a verdant setting, a stone's throw from the bustling centre.
- Garden of Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte: also known as the Villa Comunale park or Villa Reale garden in Milano, directly faces Parco Indro Montanelli. This is a real hidden gem, as it can only be accessed from the side of the GAM - Modern Art Gallery - that is housed in the Villa. It’s a blissful paradise open to children and families only. A picnic is more than eating a meal, it’s a pleasurable state of mind and this is the place to be for lovers of English gardens. Then if you need to relax just wander into the Villa’s sophisticated and soothing LùBar cafe with its retro aesthetics that evoke its Sicilian origins.
- Boscoincittà: with its 110 hectares Boscoincittà is the go-to park for the west of Milano. A huge area with lots of paths for walking, running, playing football or volleyball, plus, a hundred and fifty community allotments, the Biblioteca Verde botanical library, streams that crisscross the terrain and a delightful pond with turtles. Do you like running outdoors? Find out where you can run in Milano and then sit back and enjoy some fun and relaxed family time with a sumptuous picnic spread!
- Parco Trenno (or Parco Aldo Aniasi): not far from Boscoincittà, this outdoor sports paradise is equipped with several basketball and bowls courts, football and volleyball fields and much more. Kids will love a picnic at Parco Trenno because it gives them the chance to enjoy the many child-friendly amenities such as the Trennolandia playground.
- Idroscalo: or "Milano beach", as it is affectionally known by the Milanese, offers several different ad hoc spaces for picnics even within the various children’s attractions. Have a super-fun day and discover them all! Then find a spot with enough room to stretch out and enjoy a chilled takeaway beer!
- Giardini della Guastalla: these splendid Italian gardens, dating back to 1555, are particularly appreciated by students at the nearby Policlinico and Università Statale. This small traditional park with monumental trees, a neoclassical temple and a tranquil pond is an urban oasis in the centre that takes a step back from time, perfect for a relaxing picnic.
- Parco delle Cave: who’s up for a fun outdoor barbecue? Not just a picnic, but a great cookout for all the family! With its 140 hectares, lakes and walking paths, you’ll have plenty of time to burn off all the calories from your picnic spread, even if it’s a mega one!
- Parco Lambro: an immense expanse of green that reflects the landscape typical of the Lombard countryside within its borders: hills, plains and streams alternating with large rural spaces where you can spread out a towel and enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature.
- Parco della Martesana: much loved by cycling enthusiasts, this is the ideal place to pause after a long ride along the bicycle path that follows the Martesana canal. When the hanging scented wisteria blooms in spring it feels even more captivating.
The perfect picnic basket doesn’t exist... or does it?
The perfect location exists, you just need to choose the one that suits you, the perfect company exists (even if it’s your own, why not?), so now … all we need is the perfect picnic basket, the one with all our favourite food.
If you’re feeling a tad lazy, or have run out of time to get organised, you can always rely on the picnic professionals.
Erba Brusca: this restaurant with a vegetable garden creates recipes made with home-grown veggies in quintessential picnic-style from their own back yard. All you have to do is book the picnic basket full of tasty zero-miles snacks from the e-shop and pick it up at the restaurant, for a deliciously healthy picnic lunch (25 euros per basket for two people, excluding wines).
Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 286, 20142 Milano
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa: heading out of the city, a gourmet picnic awaits you served up by the expert chef Antonio Danise who diligently creates gourmet dishes sourced from the local territory. Picnics in the park of the estate are extremely popular on sunny summer weekends.
Villa Necchi alla Portalupa, via Cav. Necchi 2/4, Molino d’Isella, Gambolò (PV)
Ratanà: as the city opened up this traditional restaurant with a modern playful twist decided to take advantage of the joys of summer by creating an outdoor picnic, available from 12:00 to 14.30. A picnic lunch pack accompanied by a delectable selection of cocktails and drinks. All packaging and materials are eco-sustainable and 100% recyclable. Please note: cutlery is not provided.
Ratanà, Via Gaetano de Castillia, 28, 20124 Milano MI
- Rotonda Bistrò: every Saturday and Sunday you can opt for a delicious picnic on the lawn at the Rotonda della Besana. Rotondà Bistrò aims to satisfy all your needs: picnic blankets are supplied along with a basket containing bagels, hard-boiled eggs, vegetable quiche, butter croissants, plum cakes, fruit salad, juice or fruit juice and coffee. A lovely excursion for the whole family that can be topped off with a visit to the adjacent premises that host MUBA, the children's museum in Milano.
Rotonda Bistrò Via Enrico Besana 12, Milano MI
- Picnic gourmet Bulgari Hotel Milano: as the restrictions lift and the city opens up, the hotel has decided to offer their unique Bvlgari Staycations, packages designed to relive the best aspects of daily life that were missed so much during lockdown, comprising the precious chance of enjoying time outdoors. The B.Family experience has been designed for the whole household, providing entertainment and activities for kids and including the option of a wonderful picnic in the garden. For those who need privacy, the hotel offers B.Private, the perfect sojourn with in-suite dining to experience the hotel as if it was your private home. Staying in is the new going-out so guests can enjoy a real Bvlgari-style escape without leaving the city, with a gourmet picnic prepared by star chefs and served under the gazebo or palm leaf parasols in the highest part of the hotel garden.
Bulgari Hotel Milano, Via Privata Fratelli Gabba, 7B, 20121 Milano MI
- Picnic plus cinema in the El Galet garden: does reclining on a green lawn at sunset to enjoy a good movie in the open-air grab your imagination? It’s both a simple and revolutionary idea: El Galet offers 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' throughout the summer. Leave all your stress behind, there are no queues to pay for the meal as you can order on the app or opt for self-service. Safety regulations are followed and each guest is given a reserved pitch number where they can enjoy the ready-prepped basket with everything they need. All you have to do is relax under the moonlight. If you’re an outdoor cinema fan then Milano is at your fingertips this summer.
El Galet, Via Privata Taverna 2, 20134 Milano MI (reservations info here)
- Wedding PicNic: Yes, I do! You can organize any event in Milano, even your wedding can be held outdoors. Just say the word and you can recline on elegant blankets ready to enjoy a decadent picnic. Wedding PicNic specializes in organizing barefoot weddings in the park, creating an informal and convivial atmosphere, typical of picnics. You can amaze your friends and family with a ‘dejeuner sur l'herbe comme il faut’, you can opt for the all-inclusive extra luxury lunch box (bonbonniere included) or go all out with a Barbecue Wedding, complete with a chef and his own live cooking show.