Milan’s Secret (Urban Jungle) Garden

May 7, 2014 / Places
Milano, Lombardia

Here’s another note on Milan, the beautiful city that is the setting of our recently published gastronomic murder mystery, The Revenge of the Milanese Butcher! The notes coming your way over the next few weeks are all related to the book in one way or another. We hope you enjoy them!

Yes, there are still well kept secrets in the middle of Milan. The Vivaio Riva (vivaio means nursery) is situated near the Medieval Porta Ticinese and the Columns of San Lorenzo. Down a quiet road there is the entrance to this dreamy little garden retreat where the local Milanese purchase their roses and azaleas, gardenia, and wysteria. They have fruit trees and young sycamores too, and for more international requests there is bamboo and palm trees.

Church steeple view from the vivaio Riva in winter in Milan
Open greenhouse of the RIva Nursery in spring in Milan

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city chaos and wander around this idyllic green haven (even if you’re not shopping for plants), and while you linger think of the contrast between the lush greenery, colorful flowers and fruit trees (a veritable “urban jungle”) surrounded by church bells, tram lines and trendy shops beyond. The secret, as always, is simply knowing where to look.

Vivaio Riva – the Riva Nursery – on Via Arena, right in front of n.7

Remember… the Vivaio Riva and other unique places, history and aspects about Milan in our gastronomic murder mystery The Revenge of the Milanese Butcher, ItalianNotebook Press, available on Amazon.

View of the main greenhouse in the Riva Nursery in spring in Milan
Same view of church steeple from the Vivaio Riva in spring in Milan
View of the open greenhouse of the Riva Nursery in spring in Milan
Vivaio Riva in spring in Milan
Walkway of Vivaio Riva in Spring

wisteria growing in the spring in the Vivaio Riva in Milan


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “Milan’s Secret (Urban Jungle) Garden”

  1. Giuseppe Spano
    Giuseppe Spano

    in the next to the last photo, there is a bench, that is where I would sit and dream. But also I would have a pinino e una bevanda

  2. Joan Schmelzle

    Beautiiful pictures. Too bad that when I next hope to be in Milan (November 2015) the flowers won’t be as lush. I will certainly buy your book either when I break down and buy a Kindle or tablet of some kind or when it arrives in paper form. I love mysteries and those set in Italy are always a bonus.

    • GB

      Joan and Sylvia, so glad to see your interest in a paper version… we will definitely consider a printing run based on how the sale of the ebook version goes. We’ll be sure to let you know., thanks.

  3. As an America woman who has now traveled from New York to Mexico and western Canada mostly on foot or alone, I also persisted in walking from the stazione di treno to l’Ostello California. I had the goal of returning to Il Duomo for some stained glass windows that I had the pleasure of seeing on a former visit to Milano. My walking and later using some public autobus, after learning the routes, was both at night and in the daytime, and I always met people who were willing to point out a direction for me. I enjoy your notebook immensely. A Sicilian friend pointed out to me that the Notebook on Palermo’s Belle Epoch, didn’t state that the building was now shut down.

  4. We just returned from Milan. I read The Revenge of the Milanese Butcher on the plane home, on my iPad. I had started it going, but my battery ran out and I wasn’t able to read it until the trip home, after 3 days in glorious Milan. So glad it worked that way, because we had visited so many of the sites in the book! It was a great souvenir and review of the great city! Thanks for the book tip AND the garden info!


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