From Pagano to San Siro

 Saddled, painted and marbled horses: the San Siro Hippodrome

In the XIX century horse races used to take place in Corso Buenos Aires… it’s absurd to think that the roads that are now trampled by hurried walkers in search of a fashionable bargain were once heated by pawing hooves! The racecourse construction dates back to 1888 and was assigned to engineer Giulio Valerio. Worth of note is certainly the Galoppo track that, surrounded by huge green spaces, is considered one of the most selective in Italy and made it possible to appoint the Hippodrome as a national monument.

If you are not a racing fan, don’t worry: the racecourse has something also for you disbelievers. First of all, it is interesting to walk along the perimeter of the structure without taking your eyes off its walls adorned with a myriad of murals, from the ones commemorating famous jockeys to the ones ironically portraying riders on horses made of wood. The true masterpiece, however, lies inwithin the walls… we are referring to Leonardo’s horse, whose story deserves to be known as it is full of incredible vicissitudes. In 1482, Ludovico il Moro Duke of Milan, asked Leonardo da Vinci to build the biggest equestrian statue in the world to celebrate the house of Sforza. Leonardo was never able to complete the project because the 100 tons of bronze required were exploited to make the guns employed against Louis XXII’s invasion. The project was forgotten until the 70s, when the American pilot and collector Charles Dent decided to devote himself to it… unluckily, he died before he could find the money necessary to start! Its creation is due to the owner of a supermarket chain in Michigan, Frederick Meijer, who offered to fully finance the project commissioning it to the architect Nina Akamu.

 


Via Ippodromo, 100, Milano, MI, Italia
02 482161     www.ippodromomilano.it
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Other spots of interest in the neighborhood