In the new area near Garibaldi metro station, just below the shining skyscrapers around the Unicredit tower, there is a green area full of flowers, vegetables, plants and trees, with some chairs and benches around.
It is Isola Pepe Verde, one of the shared gardens that are spread around Milan, green areas that were completely abandoned until groups of citizens asked to the town hall to be authorized to “adopt” them and take care of them.
These gardens are run by associations of neighbours and by people of good will. The idea is to create a space where people can go, enjoy their time, the nature and the company of other people, without being bound or forced to buy anything.
As almost everything worth visiting and discovering in Milan, these gardens are also difficult to find. Isola Pepe Verde is hidden by a high wall and a metal sheet gate, but after 16:00 it is always open. Even if it looks like a private courtyard, you are free to go in, look around, introduce yourself to whoever is there and, at least this is what I do, sit and read a good book.
Every Tuesday it opens at 13:00 for lunch: anyone can go, bring lunch and eat together with people that are complete strangers. Just from the first 5 minutes, people are so friendly in Italy you can’t resist any longer.