It’s true, the pandemic has imprisoned us at home and has changed (for the worse) many of our lifestyle habits, forcing us to sedentary lifestyle. Almost as a reaction, 2020 was accompanied by a significant increase in simpler and more natural sports practices: from running to cycling. Although for more than a year the race calendars have been virtually wiped out by restrictions due to the health emergency, the runner population has continued to grow. And alongside those who run there are many sportsmen who have chosen the path as their favorite sporting practice. The phenomenon is evident in all parks and paths. From the center to the outskirts, every green corner is assaulted every day by those looking for a corner of their own to play sports. The question arises spontaneously: is Milan ready to welcome such a large number of sportsmen? But above all is it the right place to train? A very recent recipe conducted worldwide by the Reebok brand says that this is not quite the case.
Although the Lombard capital has already been given the nickname of “open-air gym” to underline the generosity of its parks, Milan does not appear in the list of the top 20 European cities to train in a sustainable way. In the Italian ranking it appears only in fourth place, preceded by Florence, Venice and Bologna. Undoubtedly the city excels for the paths dedicated to runners which are 280, but it has to deal with a crime rate (park safety) of 43.8 compared to the 37.85 of Florence (just think that cities like Copenhagen are stopped at 27). What penalizes Milan the most is the air quality: the pollution index is 66.96 (the highest in Italy together with Turin), against 49 in Florence.
Milan remains by far the first Italian city for the number of routes dedicated to runners. From the parks in the center, such as the Simplon, and the Indro Montanelli, to long suburban routes preferred for the “long” ones. The most classic is definitely the Monte Stella park, which has a short but rough and hilly track, the climbs in great demand by athletes and the athletics track with changing rooms and showers. The seaplane base has recently renewed its 6.3 km route, adding signs every 200 meters, while the Parco delle Cave continues to represent one of the favorite green oases. Together with the BoscoinCittà and the Trenno Park it forms a perfect track for longer workouts.
The real surprise of the last few years is the North Park, between Milan, Sesto and Cinisello. Eight hectares of meadows and woods where you can run for more than 20 kilometers without retracing your steps. The Park has traced routes of 5 and 10 km, but it is easy to move independently by taking advantage of the nine bridges that completely avoid the roads. Lovers of very long boats don’t forget the Navigli. The Pavese cycle path has recently been renewed, while the Naviglio Martesana, towards Cernusco, is the favorite during the preparations for marathons because it allows you to run over 30 kilometers in line.
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