What’s in this guide?
- What to see around Arco della Pace
- Arco della Pace history and facts
- Restaurants, bars and shops nearby
Getting to the Arco della Pace
Thanks to its central location and Milan’s excellent transport network, getting yourself to the Arco della Pace is easy.
The fastest way to reach Porta Sempione (Simplon Gate) is by metro. You can hop on the M5 line to Domodossola, just a short walk from the Arch, or the M1 line to Cairoli, which will leave you right in front of Sempione Park. Another option is to take the M2 line and drop off at Moscova stop, a stone’s throw from Sforzesco Castle.
Alternatively, you can take the tram. Line 1 and 10 trams drop you off at Corso Sempione, right in front of the Arch. If you’re travelling by train, the closest station is Milano Domodossola, stopping at the entrance of Sempione Park. You can walk through the park and reach the Arch on the other side.
Want to make the most of your time in Milan? Walking around the city is doable, but public transport runs efficiently and gets you to the farthest attractions. We recommend you purchase a 24-hour or a 48-hour travel ticket, priced at €4.50 and €8.25 if you’re planning to use transport often. You can hop on and off as many times as you want within a 90-minute window.
What to see around Arco della Pace
If you visit Arco della Pace, you’ll stumble upon Sforzesco Castle and Sempione Park – two of Milan’s most fantastic attractions. The Arch is also next door to the Torre Branca (Branca Tower), the Triennale di Milano and the Arena Civica – all worth visiting. If you’re wondering what to see around the Arco della Pace, we’ve picked some of the best spots you cannot miss.
Milan’s most expansive park is a space for recreation, away from the bustle of the city’s busy streets. The former Visconti Ducal Garden underwent many changes over the years.
During the 15th century, the Sforza family increased the park to 300 hectares, turning Sempione into a hunting field. When Napoleon became King of Italy in the early 1800s, the park was designed to offer panoramic views of Milan’s historical landmarks – Sforzesco Castle and the Arch of Peace. With its artificial lake, green lawns and variety of flowers, the park is today a place for everyone to enjoy.
Originally built as a fortress in the 14th century, Castello Sforzesco was revised to be a splendid ducal palace but was almost completely destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. The Sforza family ordered its reconstruction and turned it into a majestic residence.
Today, the castle is home to Milan’s most fascinating museums, such as the Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum), Museo d’Arte Antica (Museum of Ancient Art) and the Pinacoteca.
The Torre Branca is the sixth-highest building in Milan and offers stunning views of the city and its surroundings. You might also get to see the Alps, the Apennines and the Po Valley on clear days.
Designed by Gio Ponti and inaugurated in 1933, the tower was initially called Torre Littoria after fascio littorio during the Fascist era. In 1972, the building was closed for renovation. It was reopened to the public in 2002 by the Branca liqueur company, where it gets its name from.
Triennale di Milano
Housed in the Palazzo d’Arte, the Triennale di Milano is a design and art museum built from 1931 to1933. The international exhibition Milan Triennal was held at the museum 13 times between 1936 and 1996 but stopped for 20 years. It came back to the Triennale in 2016. The Triennale Design Museum also opened in 2007 – home to various performing arts.
Found on the northwestern outskirts of Sempione Park, the Arena Civica is a 19th-century Neoclassical arena that today serves as a multi-purpose stadium. Designed by architect Luigi Canonica, the arena hosts various sports games, concerts and cultural events.
Arco della Pace history and facts
Found at the start of Corso Sempione – the road that connects Milan to Paris via Simplon Pass – the Arch of Peace is a triumphant Neoclassical structure. It represents Napoleon’s power in the Italian Republic between 1802 and 1805.
Built by Luigi Cagnola between 1807 and 1838, the 25 metre-high monument contains bas-reliefs and statues and four Corinthian columns. It comprises various materials, including marble, bronze and stucco.
The monument’s purpose was to document Napoleon’s victories. Construction was paused when the Kingdom of Italy was conquered by the Austrian Empire. Works resumed in 1826 when Emperor Francis II dedicated the landmark to the Congress of Vienna to establish peace with Europe after the Napoleonic Wars.
Despite wanting to represent Napoleon’s victories, some of the bas-reliefs included references to the Battle of Leipzig (1813), which marked Napoleon’s defeat. At the bottom of the Arch are the four rivers flowing through the former Lombardy-Veneto Kingdom: Po, Ticino, Adige and Tagliamento.
The design of the Arch closely resembles Rome’s Arch of Septimius Severus. The monument is topped with bronze statues; the ones in the middle represent the Chariot of Peace with the Goddess leading them. The two on the sides are known as the Victories on Horseback.
Restaurants, bars and shops near Arco della Pace
Fancy eating like a Milanese local? There are plenty of options around the Arco della Pace and Sempione Park. Food is Italy’s purest form of art, and Milan is one of the best destinations to try it all. Milanese cuisine caters for every taste, whether you like meat or seasonal vegetables. Here are some of the best restaurants and trattorie to try authentic Lombardy food.
- Just Cavalli Hollywood
- Delarocque Restaurant
- Trattoria Le Combattenti
- Sotto Sotto
In the mood for an aperitivo, like a negronis or Aperol Spritz? Even better served with some salty snacks. Here’s where to head:
- Carpe Diem
- Gusto 17
- Vino Sfera
- Terrazza Triennale
If you’re planning to spend a day window shopping, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the area. Here are some musts:
- Le Cose di Raffa
- Cocouture Milano
- Gianni Italia
- Bottega Velasca
- Orient Express Vintage
- Biva Boutique
- Moods Milano
Travelling by train to Milan?
If you are thinking of taking a trip to Milan, why not travel by train? Getting the train to Milan is easy due to the high-speed rail connections operated by Trenitalia and Italo. You can travel to Milan from some of the most popular cities in Europe, including Paris to Milan (6h 38m), Zurich to Milan (3h 35m) and Rome to Milan (2h 52m).
Need more information about travelling to Milan by train? Check out our dedicated page to trains to Milan.