The countryside of Milan is an unexpected wonder on the outskirts of the capital of fashion and design. There are plenty of things to do in the surroundings of the city. From old monasteries to medieval castles, from enchanted woods to…dinosaurs. We have selected 5 places to visit just a few miles from the city centre.
- The Sancte Mariae abbey in Morimondo
- Castello Visconteo Trezzo sull’Adda
- Crespi d’adda
- Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta
- Prehistoric park
The Sancte Mariae abbey in Morimondo
The abbey in Morimondo (20 miles south of Milan) is an old monastery belonging to the Cistercian Order. Its origin dates back to 1182 when its construction started. It took a hundred and fifteen yeasr to complete the entire complex of the abbey which is composed by the main church, the cloister and the monastery. Its architectural style reflects the one of the Cistercian abbeys of the rest of Europe but it also anticipates the features of the gothic style which will be the main architectural trend of the following years.
A visit to the abbey of Morimondo will be also the opportunity for the visitors to enjoy a ride through the country side of Milan. The colors of the fields, the sounds of nature and the sight of wild animals will be an astonishing experience for everyone to enjoy.
The construction of the Castello Visconteo dates back to 1300 A.D. and was originally meant to be a defensive bulding. Nowadays serves as an impressive lookout point over the river Adda. It is the main symbol of the city of Trezzo sull’Adda (25 miles North-East of Milan) and its history is marked by the cruel actions of the dreadful Frederick the First, aka the Redbeard. Bernabò Visconti, Lord of Milan toward the end of the Middle Ages, was made prisoner by his own nephew Gian Galeazzo Visconti and sent to the dungeons of the Castello Visconteo, where he died in 1385. It is said that he was murdered by Gian Galeazzo with a plate full of poisoned beans.
If you wish to visit the castle just make sure to check the castle’s website. Guided tour are available only during certain dates and time.
The countryside of Milan also offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity. The visit to an industrial archeological area that celebrates the birth and development of the industrial history of Italy. In Crespi d’Adda, a town just 35 miles North-East of Milan in the province of Bergamo, there is an architectural complex listed among the UNESCO World Heritages. It is the “Workers Village” that was built by the Crespi family for the workers of their factories.
” The Villaggio Crespi d’Adda (Crespi Workers’ Village) is an entire town, built from nothing by the owner of the factory for his workers and their families. The workers were provided with homes, gardens, vegetable gardens and all necessary local services.
In this perfect little world the master of Crespi “reigned” from his castle and, like a caring father, satisfied all needs of his employees: “from the cradle to the grave” both inside and outside the factory, predating any official state benefits or provisions. Only those who worked in the factory could live in the Village, and the life of everybody was connected to the factory, its rhythms and its demands.”
From the Villaggio Crespi website
Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta
The tour of the countryside of Milan could continue toward North-West to the city of Lainate where a magnificent villa was built starting from 1585 as per the Count Visconti Borromeo’s will. The Villa was originally a pantry where to store groceries and products belonging to the family but the Count had some bigger plans in mind for that secondary building among his possessions.
He started a full renovation of the whole complex with the cooperation of some of the most distinguished architects and artists of that time.
The result of the renovation was this amazing Villa with an extraordinary fountain called the ninfeo. This area of the villa features impressive hidraulic mechanisms that still works as they used to do back in the XVI century.
If you travelling to Milan with your kids and you want them to enjoy the nature around the city of Milan you must visit the prehistoric parck of Rivolta d’Adda in the countryside of Milan.
The park built more than thirty years ago features a large collection of life size models of dinosaurs. From the T-Rex to the brontosaurus a walk through the park will be like travelling back in time.
If the dinosaurs are for sure the main attraction of this park, the real animals living in the woods complete the educational and fun tour of this area. Donkeys, horses, peacocks and geese walking along the paths of the botanical garden or the maze featured in the park are an extraordinary amusement for everyone to discover.
Visit the park website to know how to get there and enjoy your stay!
The countryside of Milan is not just about what we have listed here above, there are many options to explore. If you wish to know what to do in or around the city just drop us an e-mail or contact us through our official social media profile!
Don’t forget to take a look at our full city guide to the discovery of Milan and stay connected with us! Follow and share our instagram and facebook page!
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