Porta Nuova district

Initiated in 2009, the urban-renewal project comprises the area between Porta Garibaldi, the Isola district and the former Porta Nuova railway station, also known as "delleVaresine" because it was a terminus for trains from Varese, Novara, and Gallarate. The station was decommissioned in the early ‘60s and replaced by the current Porta Garibaldi Station. The new project - devised by a team of internationally-renowned architects - has redesigned the area creating a myriad of buildings with different functions: offices, commercial and residential spaces. A pedestrian system of gardens, piazzas, footbridges and bike paths unites all the zones.

The complex of tower blocks that looms over piazza Gae Aulenti boasts some notable buildings including the Unicredit tower, the highest structure in Italy, the Torre Diamante between viale della Liberazione and via Galilei, and the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), two residential towers with planted terraces set in Via De Castillia and via Confalonieri in the Isola district.

Porta Garibaldi and the nightlife scene

The northern access point to the city, Porta Garibaldi is located in the centre of Piazza XXV Aprile and was built by the architect Giacomo Moraglia between 1826 and 1828. The current neoclassical arch, originally dedicated to Francis I of Austria to commemorate his visit to Milan in 1825, was later named after Giuseppe Garibaldi to mark his victory against the Austrians at San Fermo (1859). In recent years the axis that comprises corso Garibaldi, Piazza XXV Aprile and corso Como has undergone a lot of gentrification with the opening of numerous bars, shops and clubs and is now one of the main hubs of Milan's hectic nightlife.

Cimitero Monumentale, an open-air museum

To the west of the new Porta Nuova district, arriving from the direction of via Ceresio, stands the majestic Cimitero Monumentale, a real open-air museum in the city. Designed by Carlo Maciachini and built between 1863 and 1866, it merged the cult of the dead with the post-unitary need for celebration.

Characterized by horizontal coloured bands of stone and marble, it is a unique example of eclectic architecture. The central complex consists of an enclosure with two outer lateral galleries that join in the centre in the monumental entrance, the Famedio memorial chapel or citizen’s pantheon.

Within this area there are graves, statues and tombstones of famous Milanese persons, including the tomb of Alessandro Manzoni under the octagonal dome. Along the main path that runs through the cemetery lie the Ossuary and the Crematorium Temple. Tombs, funeral shrines and sculptures constitute an extraordinary repertoire of art history from the late nineteenth century to contemporary works. The cemetery also hosts educational events and guided tours are available.

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