Who would have known? There’s a little bit of Venice and even Notting Hill in Milan!
I’m talking about a small block of houses situated just outside the city centre, east of Piazza Cinque Giornate. Many locals describe it as the “Garden district”: it’s a bunch of very colourful little houses that are located between Via Abraham Lincoln and Via Benjamin Franklin, in a very elegant area of the city.
These small working-class cottages were built at the end of the 19th century for the people who worked at the train station and railyard close by; to make the houses prettier and cozier, the owners painted them with bright colours and embellished them with gardens and trees. Now, a century later, basically every small house in this “rainbow” block has a little garden, a little fence, and some of them even hold hostage a little garden gnome…
Everything about the Via Lincoln area is very unusual for Milan and that is why I love it so much. Despite the amazing renaissance buildings and townhouses among the elegant palazzos and the newest skyscrapers around Milan, this Garden neighborhood is just unique.
If you have time I’d definitely recommend making a detour from the main tourist attractions and head towards Via Lincoln to take a few memorable pictures of Milan’s very own Notting Hill. And while you’re in the area, do check out the “Giardino delle Culture” painting by the street artist Millo, that is just around the corner.