• Active & Green
    • Parks
    • Art & Culture

The Caucasian Walnut of Parco Sempione

Where
Parco Sempione
Piazza Castello, Milano

Built at the end of the 19th century behind the Castello Sforzesco, on what used to be a parade ground, Parco Sempione today presents itself as a scenic green area as large as 38 hectares.

 

Extending along the gentle slope from the imposing castle down to the Arco della Pace (“Arch of Peace”), the park follows the romantic model of English gardens. Among the scenic views and the artistic and architectural heritage present, one of the focal points is the small lake with the Mermaids Bridge. This characteristic cast-iron structure was built in 1842 as a pedestrian walkway over the Cerchia dei Navigli. When the 6.5-km-long navigable canal around the city centre was filled in 1930, the bridge was relocated to the pond in Parco Sempione. Along the banks of the fascinating body of water dwell some very special trees: in particular the spectacular Caucasian walnut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia).

The largest specimen appears to visitors with a mighty erect trunk with a circumference of almost 5 metres (diameter 155 cm) and a height of 18 metres. Also surprising are the neighbouring specimens, which have developed horizontally and almost seem to play at caressing the water sinuously.

The Caucasian walnut, a plant that loves moist soil and is recognisable by its compound leaves similar to those of the Ash tree, takes on a warm golden colour in autumn. The specimens present, together with the numerous marsh cypresses, turn the small pond into a magical palette of colours in October and November. The place, already popular with couples for the Mermaids Bridge, becomes even more romantic and charming.

A green monument that is accessible to the public during park opening hours.

(Ph: Luca Pernechele)
 
Take me here: The Caucasian Walnut of Parco Sempione

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