Milan is a densely populated urban sprawl where green space is rare and precious. The largest park is the 47-hectare (116-acre) expanse of Parco Sempione behind Castello Sforzesco. It is one of the “green lungs” of the city, the favorite place of well-heeled Milanese to walk their dogs along shady pathways sheltered by giant chestnuts; it is here that lovers come to moon around the ornamental lakes. The Giardini Pubblici on Bastioni di Porta Venezia is another haven, a firm favorite with families at the weekend for its little fair. Joggers circuit the park, and in winter there’s ice-skating on the ornamental ponds. Parco Solari has a swimming pool, and Idroscalo near Linate offers every outdoor activity from sailing and swimming to climbing or tennis. For sports fanatics, San Siro football stadium (www.sansiro.net; tel. 02/4879-8201) is open for tours.
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