Back in the dark ages of my life in Milan, when I’d just come to the city and was anything but happy, a Romanian healer told me that I needed to “hug a tree” to absorb the positive energy of the city. I scoffed at this notion, unable to call to mind anything other than the dirty, long-suffering trunks I’d seen lining Via Vincenzo Monti from the tram. “I’d hug a tree if I could find one worth hugging,” I’d thought bitterly.
Little did I know at the time that, a mere kilometer or two away from me, spread the beautiful Parco Sempione, Milan’s Central Park. It’s much smaller than New York’s sprawling landmark, but has some of the same features: gently curving paths, rocky rises, meadows, laghetti (little lakes), bucolic vistas, and the required views of the surrounding city.
Flanked on one side by Il Castello Sforzesco, on another by l’Arco della Pace, and on a third by the Triennale (Museum of Contemporary Design), the park is the perfect place to while away the weekend hours or to regain the semblance of sanity in the midst of another hectic week.
This morning the park was beyond beautiful. Unusually quiet—except for a Chinese wedding (involving the occasional firecracker) and a very few nannies strolling with their charges—it seemed to be holding its breath. Listening. Waiting. Giving itself over to quiet meditation.