The first horse races took place in early 19th century, along corso Buenos Aires. The races were so successful that more capacious structures were needed; in 1888 a hippodrome was built in a large green area, San Siro. The hippodrome, designed by architect Paolo Vietti Violi, was inaugurated in 1920 and named Ippodromo del Galoppo di San siro. The large Art-Nouveau building occupies a 1.500.000 m2 area, has over 20.000 seats, four race tracks (straight, oval, hurdles, steeple chases) and two training tracks (di Trenno and della Maura).
The Ippodromo San Siro is one of the most important hippodromes of the world and has been declared national heritage: the track is of the most difficult worldwide and has hosted important international competitions, such as Oaks d’Italia and Grand Prix of Milan; very famous horses, such as Ribot, Sirlad and Falbrav, have competed on these tracks. In 1925 another separate section was added in order to host harness racing. It was designed by architect Paolo Vietti Violi, who conceived a 150.000 m² structure with a race track, a training track, 6000 seats, stables and tack rooms.
The hippodrome became renowned for its fast track and because it has been the seat of important international races (such as the European Grand Prix and Grand Prix delle Nazioni), nocturnal races, and it’s equipped with a panoramic restaurant, perfect for those who wanted to see the races while comfortably sitting at the table. Very important horses, such as Varenne, Kronos and Viking, have competed in this hippodrome.