Water and nature in the area of Milan
Milano is a city of waterways. Its Navigli are ancient inland canals that pass through fascinating areas of the city centre and extend outwards to stunningly beautiful natural landscapes and sceneries that can be covered on foot or by bicycle.
The largest park in the province of Milan is Parco Agricolo Sud Milano, covering roughly one-third of its territory. This green space was created in 1990 to safeguard the landscape of Milan’s irrigated plain. It encompasses some truly splendid complexes such as the Abbeys of Chiaravalle, Viboldone and Mirasole, in addition to numerous farm estates and agriturismi [country guesthouses].
Among the many parks in the metropolitan area, the Parco Nord, today a large green space with numerous facilities, represents a successful example of environmental regeneration in a previously degraded area.
The Parco delle Groane, for its part, is located in a moorland of special geological and botanical interest. Its area vertically cuts through the territory of 16 municipalities, and is characterized by the presence of a number of historic residences, such as Castellazzo di Bollate, Valera di Arese, Villa Borromeo a Senago, as well as various examples of industrial archaeology.
To the east, the main attraction of Parco Adda Nord is the watercourse of the river Adda; of great interest are the water engineering works such as the locks designed by Leonardo, the Paderno bridge, the hydroelectric power plants along the course of the river, and the nearby worker’s village of Crespi d'Adda, a Unesco heritage site.
Enriching the panorama of green spaces in the area of Milan are the parks enclosed in the numerous historic noble villas situated all around the city, among which are the baroque Villa Litta Modigliani at Affori; Villa Litta di Lainate, with its wonderful park animated by fountains, grottoes and a nymphaeum; and Villa Borromeo at Cassano d’Adda, with its ample and impressively scenographic entrance garden.
In addition, the area features numerous nature reserves. Among those not included in the parks territory is the Oasi di Vanzago, with its magnificent woods.