Like most New Yorkers are, I was obsessed with Central Park. The green space was a refuge during the weekends and the weekday mornings before work when I’d start the day with a beautiful run. There’s no place like Central Park, but Parco Sempione can lighten the heart of even the most world weary urbanite.
The park dates back to 1888 and sits right smack between the Arco della Pace (arch of peace) and Sforza Castle. Before becoming a park, the grounds served as hunting grounds for the Sforza Family. While there’s no zoo, Sheep’s Meadow or Delacorte theater there, Parco Sempione holds its own with the Arena Civica, a still functioning neoclassical stadium commissioned in 1807 by Napoleon; Acquario Civivo, or national aquarium; and Torre Branca, a steel tower built in 1933 offering a stunning panomoric view of the city and the green spaces hidden in all its nooks and crannies.
Just like the Met sits on the outskirts of NYC’s Central Park, the Triennale sits on the edge of Parco Sempione. It in no way, shape or form is the Met, but it’s cool to have this design-centric museum nearby.
So, the park itself is about 386,000 m 2, not as vast as Central Park, but you’re still able to get in a decent run. One full lap of the park’s perimeter (Castello Sforezsco included) is approximately 2.2 miles and one full loop inside (exiting at the part behind the Triennale and then re-entering) is about one mile. I use Runkeeper to track my mileage of course, which is how I was able to gauge these distances. It’s about a mile from my apartment so I usually like to start the day with at least a four-mile run. A mile there, then I go around the park and cut in once I circle the castle to run back near the arch and run the mile home.
The park is almost always bustling with fellow runners, bikers, people cutting through on their way to or from work. Once the warm weather hits, it’s lovely to pass a day inside on the blanket with good company, and work on the gambe abbronzate.