Inside Orto Botanico

©Stephanie Ong/Lonely Planet

Maria Teresa had the towering gingko planted here in 1777, when she turned the former Jesuit orchard into an open-air lecture hall for budding botanists (the wunderkind of the Enlightenment). This fragrant, walled garden is still filled with medicinal plants and is a pleasant place for a stroll.

To reach the garden, enter the Palazzo di Brera and head inside the ground-floor complex behind the statue of Napoleon. Then follow the passageway around to the left to the back door.