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Fodor's Italy 2014
Parco Sempione Review
Originally the gardens and parade grounds of the Castello Sforzesco, this open space was reorganized during the Napoleonic era, when the arena on its northeast side was constructed, and then turned into a park during the building boom at the end of the 19th century. It is still the lungs of the city's fashionable western neighborhoods, and the Aquarium still attracts Milan's schoolchildren (Viale Gadio 2 02/884957 www.acquariocivicomilano.eu. Free. Tuesday–Sunday 9–1 and 2–5:30) The park became a bit of a design showcase in 1933 with the construction of the Triennale.
Fiat Café offers outdoor dining in summer along with a view of De Chirico's sculpture-filled fountain Bagni Misteriosi (Mysterious Baths).
Torre Branca. It is worth visiting Parco Sempione just to see the Torre Branca. Designed by architect Gio Ponti, who was behind so many of the projects that made Milan the design capital that it is, this steel tower rises 330 feet over the Triennale. Take the elevator to get a nice view of the city, then have a drink at the glitzy Just Cavalli Café (Monday–Saturday, 8 pm–2 am) at its base. Parco Sempione. 02/3314120. www.branca.it/torre/dati.asp. €3. Irregular, seasonal hrs.
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