No queues, no tickets, but just the sun and sky in place of lights and backdrops. Does this sound unreal? Well, it is not, and that is why we have put together for you an itinerary allowing for the discovery of 10 not to be missed outdoor masterpieces.
1 - L.O.V.E. in Piazza Affari
L.O.V.E., better known in Milano as the Finger, is a sculpture by the famous Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. His large-scale work stands boldly at the centre of Piazza degli Affari as a symbol of protest, right in front of Palazzo Mezzanotte, home to the Milanese stock exchange. The name is an acronym for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Revenge, Eternity).
2 - Arco della Pace and Castello Sforzesco courtyards
Arco della Pace
It is hard to miss the majestic Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) standing at the far end of Parco Sempione, creating a place where young people like to hang out in the long summer evenings and socialise with friends.
It was constructed in 1806 to celebrate the marriage of Eugene de Beauharnais - viceroy of Italy and adopted son of Napoleon - with Princess Augusta of Bavaria, to mark the beginning of the road that led to Paris.
Castello Sforzesco courtyards
At the other side of Parco Sempione stands the magnificent Castello Sforzesco where the narrative of Milano continues even en plein air. The castle’s outdoor spaces are open to all, and a surprising number of historical relics can be admired in the Cortile delle Armi, Cortile della Rocchetta and in the Corte Ducale: fragments of statues, architectural remnants of a by-gone age, archaeological artefacts, friezes, coats of arms and tombstones are positioned around the castle’s loggias, facades and courtyards or along the external perimeter.
3 - Mysterious Baths at the Triennale
Giardino della Triennale Milano, viale Alemagna
Giorgio de Chirico’s Metaphysical artwork Bagni Misteriosi (Mysterious Baths) was created in 1973 for the fountain in the garden of the Palazzo dell'Arte in Parco Sempione and is now restored and permanently exhibited in the Triennale Garden.
4 - Needle, thread and knot
Piazzale Luigi Cadorna
Ago, filo e nodo (Needle, thread and knot) is a sculpture by the famous American Pop artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. This striking and colourful artwork is located in Piazzale Cadorna, a crucial Milanese transport hub, and represents the typical Milanese traits of industriousness and dedication to work.
5 - City Life Contemporary Art Park
Via Demetrio Stratos
ArtLine Milano is an open-air civic art project set within the public park in City Life - the metropolis’ new district where the 3 skyscrapers by star architechts Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Arata Isozaki tower over the skyline. ArtLine is an open-air cultural itinerary exhibiting over twenty permanent works by artists under 40.
6 - Disco Solare, Arnaldo Pomodoro
Disco Solare or Disco Grande is a shimmering 1980 bronze sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro, currently located in Milano’s Piazza Meda. The striking Solar Disc plays with the dynamic contrast between curved lines, straight, rigid lines and the multitude of welded geometric shapes.
7 - Leonardo's Horse
Ippodromo di Milano, Piazzale dello sport 16
Leonardo's Horse is part of an equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza that Leonardo da Vinci worked on from 1482. Leonardo’s original sculpture was never completed: however, thanks to the Master’s detailed drawings, the Horse was replicated by artist Nina Akamu and is now on display at the Hippodrome.
8 - Monumental Cemetery
Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale
Milano’s Cimitero Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery) is one of the most beautiful and majestic areas in the city, an open-air sculpture museum and a tree-lined leafy haven away from the city’s din.
9 - Casa Galimberti
Via Marcello Malpighi, 3
Designed by architect Giovanni Bossi, between 1903 and 1905, Casa Galimberti in via Malpighi (Porta Venezia area) is considered one of the most beautiful buildings of the celebrated Milanese Art Nouveau period. Most of the building’s external facade is adorned with striking majolica tiles, braided wrought iron and concrete floral motifs.
10 - Museum of Young Artists
Idroscalo, Via Circonvallazione, 29
The Museo Giovani Artisti (Young Artists Museum) at the Idroscalo exhibits sculptures and contemporary environmental art in an open-air public space. This innovative Museum is the brainchild of collaboration between the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, the Friends of the Academy of Brera Association and the Idroscalo.