Even with all of the wonderful museums, etc with which I had occupied my first two days in Monza, the city’s real crown jewel happens to be it’s famous Park. To say that the Park of Monza is large is an understatement! It is HUGE, spanning 688 hectacres. Knowing this, I planned on giving myself most of the day to explore it.
I entered the Park via the Portale Neogotico, or neogothic gate. This is a beautiful gateway, that according to old documents, is made up of parts left over from the construction of Milano’s Duomo.
Once inside of the park, you find yourself behind Villa Reale, in what is considered to be the gardens of the Villa.
This is a very beautiful part of the park. There are plenty of pathways and areas to explore. Using a guidebook that I’d purchased when visiting the Villa the day before, I set out to see just how much of the park I could see comfortably, in one day. Before long I stumbled upon a small lake with the Tempietto, a small temple built by Giuseppe Piermarini.
Close to this was the Torretta Dei Giardini Reali, a medieval style building built by Luigi Canonica, which boasts a 30 meter high tower.
I then found myself at the Cascina Bastia, which used to be an old stable area, but is now the place where you can rent bikes by the hour to ride around the park
Before long I arrived at Padiglione Cavriga, which is a bar/cafe set along one of the few roads open to traffic in the Park. Here it is possible to enjoy a coffee, snack, or even a nice glass of wine, or an ice cold beer.
A short distance further into the Park brought me to the Cascina San Fedele, a beautiful building which was built using materials from the demolished church of Santa Maria di Brera in Milano. The grounds that this building sits on are breathtaking.
Another short stroll brought me to Cascina Frutteto – which is now the School of Agriculture.
Following the road, I arrived at Villa Mirabellino, a residence designed by Giulio Galliori for Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini, as a guest house for the Durini family’s visitors. It is in a state of disrepair at the moment, but hopefully will be restored to it’s former beauty at some point in the future.
Around a short bend one finds the Cascina Fontana, built using the remains of an old farmhouse by Luigi Canonica in 1825.
By this time, if one were to exit the park, you would discover that you were no longer in the city of Monza, but instead, in the tiny town of Vedano. The Portineria di Vedano (gateway into the park) is lovely, as is the tiny village.
see pt 2…….