A stroll along '900 architectures at Parco Sempione area

A museum, a tower, a theatre all around the Parco Sempione

The architectural area around Parco Sempione is all about the nineteenth century - from Napoleon era to the placement of the “piano Beruto”, the first Milano city masterplan - this fresh garden in the city centre is a prosperous architectural resource of the twentieth-century. It connects the perspective that links Castello Sforzesco and Arco della Pace, surrounded by gardens all around.


The most important monuments are the Palazzo dell’Arte by Giovanni Muzio, also known as Triennale, and the Branca Tower by Gio Ponti. Both monuments were built at the beginning of the 30s and both are two of the finest examples of rationalist architecture. Walking a few meters in the direction of Piazza Cadorna, you find the Casa al Parco by Ignazio Gardella. It is located just in front of Parco Sempione and it was built between 1947 and 1950, a true postwar jewel.
On the other side of the Sforza Castle there is the Civic Aquarium - one of the most ancient in Europe, placed in a little decò-style building designed by Locati in 1906, during the international exposition in Milan - and only a few steps out of the park, in the direction of Brera, there is the Piccolo Teatro Strehler, designed by Zanuso and Crescini at the end of the 70s and built by the end of the century.


Some other buildings, hidden in the heart of the park, are worth a visit. The Parco Sempione library, designed by Ico Parisi in the 50s, and two other monuments: the “Accumulazione musicale e seduta” by Arman realized in 1973 - a semi-circular area where the artist submerged chairs and instruments in concrete - creating an amphitheater - and the “Teatro Continuo” by Burri, recently rebuilt.

Triennale - Palazzo dell'Arte

Palazzo dell'Arte, designed in the 1930s by the architect Giovanni Muzio, is a modular building expressly designed to host large cultural events in 12.000 square meters between exhibition areas and visiting spaces.


This building became the headquarters of the Triennale exhibition in Milan following the donation of the Bernocchi family in 1930.


Torre Branca

Projected in the 1930s by Gio Ponti, palced in the meadow of Parco Sempione, the Tower is considered a piece of art in which modern architecture and new technology meet.


It was erected in only two and a half months in 1933, on the occasion of the 5th Triennale exhibition; while in 1972 it was condemned. Later, it was completely restored by the Branca Brothers, whose name is now given to the building.

Casa al Parco

The architect Gardella designed this building in 1947. It was imagined to allocate the upper class. With seven floors - five external and two basements, the building hosts flats with Parco Sempione and Piazza Castello views. The whole structure substituted the ancient Villa Marsagia, in a silent and private corner of Milan.

Civic Aquarium

This building was inaugurated in 1906. Today, after many renovations, it resists in its early structure. The liberty palace hosts more than a hundred marine species, most of them of freshwater with some exceptions from Mediterranean Sea.


This fascinating structure, example of Art Nouveau, is hidden in the heart of Parco Sempione
between a tower by Filarete and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. This is the third oldest
aquarium in Europe.

Piccolo Teatro Strehler

Piccolo Teatro of Milan was inaugurated in 1947 with a premiere by Maxim Gor'kij. The audience filled up the historic location, Teatro Grassi - the first Italian stable theatre. Giorgio Strehler, Paolo Grassi and Nina Venchi, the three founders, wanted to create a national theatre with the aim to produce exhibitions and plays but also to be the home of many famous and foreigner actors. With these objectives Piccolo Theatre became “Teatro d’Europa” (“Theatre of Europe”).


The architectural project was realized by Muzio, who created a building with an
industrial structure and feeling - meaning that a theatre can produce tangible culture.
Today the season of Piccolo Teatro is split among three different locations: Teatro Grassi,
located in a fascinating neoclassical yard, Teatro Studio Melato, with a wooden semi-circular
arena, and finally Theatro Strehler, the primary location which was inaugurated in 1998 and is
one of the biggest theatres in Italy to the present day.



Sergio Escobar is the executive director of Piccolo Teatro. If the season includes these shows:
“Arlecchino servitore”, “L’opera da tre soldi”, “Re Lear” and Il Giardino dei Ciliegi”, it is
impossible not to go and watch these plays which have written the history of the theatre.

Parco Sempione library

It is located in the heart of Parco Sempione and it presents a wavy, nice roof similar to a hat. The building attracts passers-by and it captures who tries to study. Try - yes - because it is easier be distracted and to remain speechless due to the beauty of the building and the green garden all around. The facility was designed by Ico Parisi in the 50’s in occasion of the tenth Triennale.


Inside the building there are some notable sculptures: “Lettrice” by Francesco Somaini, an abstract composition by Bruno Munari made of marble and cement, the tarsio by Mauro Reggiani and a low relief by Umberto Milani which were all created in occasion of past “Triennale” exhibitions.

Accumulazione musicale e seduta

In Parco Sempione, among green hedges and high trees, it is possible to find an Armin’s work realized in 1973 in occasion of XV Triennale of Milan.


It is am orchestra stage with a cavea made by stones, a concrete casting which decorates an arena made by big steps with footprint of musical instruments. The municipality of Milan decided to buy this work after its exhibition and to keep it inside of Parco Sempione as a surprise for relaxing walks along the green lung of the city.