Bicocca used to host the giant Pirelli tire factories and more heavy industries. Over the last three decades, it has become the home of the University of Milano Bicocca, which offers a whole range of public higher education, including medicine, sociology, statistics, and economics. Bicocca is also a stylishly modern neighborhood, complete with a movie mall, a big auditorium (Arcimboldi Theater), and a major center for contemporary art (Pirelli Hangar Bicocca,). The lilac subway line (M5), provides fast access to the whole area, which is huge and can be observed from above from Collina Dei Ciliegi, one of Milano's only two hills (the other one is Montagnetta, also artificial, near Lampugnano and San Siro).
From Bicocca, it's easy to foot or cycle to Parco Nord, the biggest green lung of the city, covering an area of 7,9 square kilometers. This is where the Northern Milanese like to do their running or picnicking, perhaps ending the day at Sun Stracc, an open-air bar by a little lake, next to the terminus of tram #4 to Niguarda, a truly Milanese neighborhood with a strong civic life, worth a visit in its own right (walk down Via Ornato).
Bicocca district hosts distinct modern architectures. The campus has a life of itself, animated by coffee shops, shopping centers, and popular cultural spots like one of the most famous city museum of contemporary art. The museum also organizes bicycle tours of the district showcasing the former industrial zone as a vibrant arts scene. The Arcimboldi Theatre is also hosting concerts, musicals, and shows.