The Park and its Villas
The Park of Monza, an Imperial garden, a hunting wood, a model farmland dotted with country homes, farmhouses and mills. The ambition to unite these disparate elements in a single, wonderful project, can still be perceived in the buildings, avenues and fields of the Park. This trip around the area is a journey amid the historical culture of the territory, a place where the splendours of the court combine with village life.
Distance: 5.5 km Begins and ends at Via Boccaccio
Starting point: Villa Reale, from the “side” entrance in Via Boccaccio. The Villa was built between 1777 and 1780 to a design by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini. It was amplified by Canonica, who added new buildings. After crossing a bridge over a watercourse, now dry, turn left and follow the watercourse to rejoin the wall dividing the Giardini Reali from the rest of the Park. A broad avenue leads up to the gate from which Cascina del Sole is visible. Leave the Gardens and continue along the asphalted avenue in front of the gate flanked by pedunculate oaks till you reach Viale Mirabello. This splendid avenue, lined by oaks throughout its length, leads to Villa Mirabello, erected in 1668, restored and amplified in 1768 at the initiative of Cardinal Durini, who resided there from that year. Frescoes and decorations of notable quality can be found in Villa Mirabello. Even more remarkable are the coffered ceilings in wood, a true work of art. The interior cannot be visited, since part of the building is unsuitable for use. Turn left at the crossroads and follow Viale di Vedano to Porta Vedano. Turn left again to reach, after a short rise, again on the left, Villa Mirabellino. This was constructed in 1776 on a natural terrace, in a position facing Villa Mirabello so as to form a prospect with a long view from one Villa to the other. This view was blocked in 1922 by the construction of a hippodrome, and was only recently reintroduced as part of the restoration and renovation works. Continue southward along Viale Mirabellino, then turn left at the large RAI aerial. This complex, in rationalist style, was designed in 1952 by Giò Ponti. This little-frequented avenue passes by the neo-Gothic Cascina San Fedele, visible on the upper left. Built in 1805 to a design by the architect Canonica, the Cascina incorporates sculpture from the Church of Santa Maria in Brera of Milan. The road then returns to Viale Mirabellino and shortly after crosses with Viale Cavriga, at the level of Bar Cavriga. Cross the avenue to enter the Giardini Reali a few metres further ahead. From here you can see the Torretta, a medieval-style imitation, built with the intention of creating a sort of historical link that would lend dignity to the area. Pass along the Lake on the left bank. On the other bank you can see the fine Doric Temple, one of the most striking examples of the relationship between art and nature. The walk concludes amid the shady, relaxing avenues near Villa Reale. A walk suitable for everyone, especially on a hot summer’s day. The time needed? From two hours to an entire day!