Milan has big plans to be one of Europe’s most eco-friendly cities and has already put the wheels in motions to become the most bike friendly city in Italy highlighting its excellent parks, bike paths and other sport facilities. In this article, we share the best parks in Milan for outdoor exercise.
Whether you want to bike, walk or do a fitness circuit, it’s time to spice up your fitness routine! Milan has outdoor venues and running routes scattered throughout the city, here are our top spots.
Fitness circuits and exercise stations can be found in many Milan parks /Comune di Milano Press Office
OUTDOOR CALISTHENICS & FITNESS CIRCUITS
During recent pandemic restrictions when gyms were closed, many of us had to become creative in the areas of fitness and seek out places to do outdoor activities. If you’re living on a budget and don’t want to spend money at a fitness center, there are plenty of free sport and fitness areas to utilize in Milan.
Parco Sempione / photo Milan Tourist Board
It’s no wonder that Parco Sempione has reached a high peak of popularity with its sprawling greenery, but it also boasts an environmentally conscious and innovative fitness area. The 15 stations, with detailed descriptions, are built with recycled plastic. Not only are there written descriptions, but you can zoom into the station’s QR code with your smartphone and receive demonstration videos of the exercises to perform at each station.
Getting there: Enter Parco Sempione from the Sforza Castle near metro stop MM Cairoli or on the opposite end from Piazza Sempione where you’ll find the Arco della Pace monument. There are many other entrances along the roads circling the park; Viale Emilio Alemagna, Via Legnano, and Viale Elvezia.
Biblioteca degli Alberi di Milano (BAM)
Biblioteca degli Alberi / Photo Andrea Cherchi for Comune di Milano Press Office
Offering free fitness events such as evening Friday Bootcamps, this spacious and open-air gym has a running path 100 meters long complete with fitness stations to get those muscles moving. Stationed near the picturesque Bosco Verticale, this outdoor fitness area is sure to keep your energy running high. Perhaps pack a jump rope or a few hand weights for an extra push and head to BAM for a heart-pumping workout!
Getting there: You can enter the BAM park from Piazza Gai Aulenti (MM Garibaldi), from Via Melchiorre Gioia (MM Gioia) or Via Gaetano de Castillia.
Lambro Park Milan / Wikimedia
Outside of the city center, this park is the largest in Milan and offers a host of sporting areas for activities like disc golf, skateboarding, and of course, an exercise station! The dedicated fitness area is complete with bars, rings, and benches on a special flooring that mimics indoor gyms. Another plus are the shady areas, which is a must with the hot summer months looming around the corner.
Getting there: Parco Lambro has several entrances. Take public transportation to MM Udine, Cimiano or Crescenzago, walk towards the park and you will find a way in, there are no fences around much of the perimeter.
Discover more open air gyms in Milan, check out this interactive map created by the Municipality of Milan.
RUNNING PATHS IN MILAN
One great thing about running is that you just need shoes and a place to run! However, if you are new to a large city, it can be daunting to figure out the best places to run. Because who really enjoys weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic on the busy sidewalks and waiting at each crosswalk? Fortunately, Milan is filled with a plethora of green areas and running routes sure to meet the needs of everyone.
Naviglio Martesana / Wikimedia
Surely, you have heard of the Milan canal district, known as i Navigli, and hopefully have been able to stroll up and down these popular paths, but have you tried your hand – or your foot – at the Naviglio Martesana? Also known as the Naviglio Piccolo (little canal), this path for runners and cyclists is about 38 km long. Not only is it a great running route void of the vehicle traffic, but along the canals the beauty can also help to distract you during those long runs!
Getting there: Take the MM to Turro or Gorla and walk 5-10 minutes to the canal. You can find it along the way, crossing the villages of the Martesana area; Trezzo sull’Adda, Vaprio d’Adda, Cassano d’Adda, Inzago, Bellinzago Lombardo, Gessate, Gorgonzola, Bussero, Cassina de’ Pecchi, Cernusco sul Naviglio and Vimodrone.
Giardini Indro Montanelli
Giardini Indro Montanelli / Comune di Milano Press Office
As the first public park in Milan, the Giardini Indro Montanelli offers not just an easy-to-navigate running route, but also pretty sights (or sites) along the way, such as the National History Museum or Planetarium. Whether you choose to run on the outside perimeter or weave in and out of the tree-lined paths, this park is a great choice for runners wanting to explore more city landmarks. It’s also a great park for an afternoon stroll.
Getting there: Giardini Indro Montanelli is in the center of Milan and easily accessible from Via Palestro, and Corso Venezia (MM Palestro).
Idroscalo Milano / Wikimedia
A 6.9 km running path is only one of the treasures the Idroscalo park has, but it is one to visit as an avid or beginning runner. With only about 1.5 km of the path as a dirt road and the other all asphalt, any runner knows this is pure heaven on the knees. Located by the water, this park is sure to cast a nice breeze during hotter months, so be sure to add this route to your running list. Additional bonus: fitness stations!
Getting there: Take the city bus direct ATM 73 from San Babila towards Linate Airport – S. Felicino and get off at off at Strada Rivoltana / Tribune Idroscalo and walk about 5 minutes.
Find a group or activity
See the classified ad section of EasyMilano.com to find or post and to search for walking and running partners. Click here to read bout the Walking group in Parco Nord or Parco Sud.
Every year Milan host the StraMilano marathon (usually in May) and various groups and organizations hold training sessions and other walks and events during the year. Sign up for the EasyMilano newsletter and check our calendar of events frequently for activities.
Running can be a tough sport to begin or stick with, so why not find a running buddy or group to push you along? Check out PlayMore, a free running group in Milan that is sure to offer you a program and a boost that will keep you moving!
After choosing one the parks to visit, all you need to do now is to lace up those shoes, turn on that music and get moving!
Article by Mary Catherine Holcomb for Easy Milano
Mary Catherine Holcomb is a former personal trainer, writer, teacher and an expat living in Milan, Italy.