Secreted inside Milano’s Brera district, to the back of the Pinacoteca, lies the historic Botanical Garden. Just like a real open-air museum, it’s a protected place for biodiversity and rare species. A visit to this green oasis in the heart of Milano is a great opportunity to observe nature which, naturally, puts on a different show for each season.
The Brera Botanical Garden, founded in 1775 at the behest of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, had previously been a vegetable allotment for the Jesuit Fathers who had occupied the adjacent Palazzo Brera since the end of the 16th century.
The garden is open to all and admission is free; just stroll through the Pinacoteca to enter a peaceful and enchanted place and take a lunch break surrounded by flower beds, exotic species and ancient trees.
During Design Week and other major city events the Garden is turned into a spectacular open-air design installation, well worth experiencing especially if you can take advantage of the first sunny days to recuperate some energy after the buzz of the Salone del mobile and Fuorisalone.
Then, treat yourself for a coffee break at the recently-inaugurated Caffè Fernanda, a ‘50s-inspired bar in the Pinacoteca spaces on the first floor of the Palazzo, with entry from the large neoclassical courtyard with the unmissable colossal heroic nude statue Napoleon as Mars the Peacemaker.
And while you're there, you certainly shouldn’t miss the The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael or Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus, not to mention the Montefeltro Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca or the renowned Kiss by Francesco Hayez, to name just a few of the real masterpieces housed in the Pinacoteca spaces.