Perhaps not everyone knows that there is a Garden in Milan that, unlike the others, is not only a green oasis, but is above all a place of remembrance and education. I am talking about the Garden of the Righteous Worldwide, where there are trees, memorial stones and plaques in honour of the Righteous, men and women who during their lives helped the victims of persecution, protected human dignity and defended human rights.
Milan Garden of the Righteous was created in 2003 upon Gariwo’s proposal, following the model of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, on the second ledge of Monte Stella hill, a place that is extremely dear to Milan citizens, also known as Montagnetta di San Siro. Monte Stella, designed by architect Piero Bottoni, was built on the rubble of the bombings of Milan after the Second World War and has thus become a symbol of rebirth for everyone. And the fact is significant that the Garden of the Righteous lies there: trees on the rubble, life on destruction.
Since 2008, the Garden has been managed by Association for the Garden of the Righteous in Milan, of which Gariwo is a member together with the City of Milan and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities.
Throughout time, this Garden has been enriched by both stories from the past, linked to all genocides, from Armenian genocide to Shoah and Rwanda genocide, and stories from the present, linked for example to mafia, the reception of migrants and terrorism. Talking about these Righteous helps us reflect on what we can all do today in our daily lives, learning from what happened yesterday.
In 2019 the redeveloping of the Garden was completed, based on architects Stefano Valabrega and Giacomo Crepax’s project.
The Garden aims at being a place open to all citizens, hosting people of all ages. You can go to the Garden alone, or for a guided tour, to listen to a concert or to have your children take part in workshops, to attend a ceremony or to listen to a testimony. If you want to walk around the Garden, you can start from memorial stones dedicated to the first Righteous who were honoured. You can then walk along Avenue of the Good, leading to the Tree of Remembrance, to the Dialogue Room, where you can sit and reflect or talk, and the Tree of Virtues, where the values of the Righteous are engraved on the map of Milan. Going on, you finally arrive at Ulianova Radice Amphitheatre, a space for gatherings and aggregation, dedicated to one of Gariwo founders.
Come and see all the other Righteous. Get off at QT8 stop of Milan subway red line and come to learn their stories.
To use the audio guide by Gariwo Editorial Staff, download the app izi.travel and search for "Garden of the Righteous".