Piazza Gae Aulenti
Piazza Gae Aulenti, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Piazza Gae Aulenti?
Piazza Gae Aulenti is a symbol of contemporary Milan, an epitome of modernity amidst the ancient architecture that defines much of the city. Named after the renowned Italian architect Gae Aulenti, it's located in the heart of Milan's business district, Porta Nuova, and serves as a hub for the city's financial and fashion-oriented hustle. The piazza is a circular public space that sits above street level, accessible by a set of impressive staircases and elevators. Upon its sleek surface, it's surrounded by towering glass skyscrapers, featuring a mix of offices, high-end apartments, shops, and public art installations.
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History of Piazza Gae Aulenti
The history of Piazza Gae Aulenti is relatively recent, as it was inaugurated in December 2012. The area where the piazza now sits was once a railyard that had gradually fallen into disuse. Instead of being neglected, this space was revitalized as part of a grander urban renewal project aimed at modernizing Milan and strengthening its international appeal. The vision was to create a central area that links various refurbished and newly-built neighborhoods, giving birth to an interconnected, pedestrian-friendly, and sustainable urban environment. The design by Argentine architect César Pelli brought this vision to life, incorporating bold architectural statements with innovative landscape features.
Why is Piazza Gae Aulenti Important?
Piazza Gae Aulenti is more than just an architectural masterpiece—it's a testament to Milan's progressive spirit. The square represents the new face of the city, where historic artistry meets contemporary innovation. Its importance lies in its role as a social and cultural focal point, as well as its contribution to Milan's economic development. It's a place where locals and tourists converge, drawn in by the futuristic allure and the pulsating energy of urban life. Additionally, it exemplifies sustainable urban planning, featuring a smart use of spaces and respect for the environment.
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Things to Do & See at Piazza Gae Aulenti
Stepping into Piazza Gae Aulenti is like walking onto the set of a science fiction film. The Ultra-modern skyscrapers such as the Unicredit Tower—the tallest building in Italy—provide an awe-inspiring backdrop. You can start by taking a stroll around the circular walkway, admiring the kinetic sculptures and water features. Don't miss the famous "Aqua" installation, a mesmerizing sheet of water that cascades over the side of the walkway, only to be cleverly recirculated.
Plenty of boutiques and concept stores invite you to indulge in some shopping, offering both local and international brands. For a taste of Italy, explore the variety of eateries and cafes dotting the piazza for some fine dining or a casual aperitivo. Engage in the popular Italian tradition of "passeggiata"—a leisurely evening stroll—absorbing the electric atmosphere as the piazza lights up after dusk, transforming the vibe with different shades and shadows.
Culturally, the piazza frequently hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and public events. An interesting challenge—if you're up for it—is to find the small hidden garden, an oasis of green suspended above the urban sprawl. Look out for local activities and performances that may be happening during your visit; it's often a space where creativity is showcased in an open, public manner. Lastly, for panoramic views of Milan, ascend to the public terraces known as "The Island" (L'Isola) located in the nearby vertical forests or "Bosco Verticale" towers. From there, you can get a bird's eye view of Piazza Gae Aulenti and beyond.