The Società del Giardino was founded in 1783 by a group of thirty-two Milanese citizens under the guidance of the founder and first president, Francesco Bolchini.
In those days Joseph II, son of Maria Theresa of Austria, was the emperor ruling over Milan, a city still surrounded by canals of ancient and medieval origin and the fortified walls built during the years of the Spanish domination.
The first goals of the club were to offer some fun and recreation, but through the years cultural activities have continued to gain ever more importance. The Società del Giardino is a strictly a-political club.
Many protagonists in Italian and international history such as emperors, kings, princes, prime ministers, statesmen, cardinals, Nobel laureates, scientists, artists, and men of culture have passed through the halls of the Società del Giardino.
Thanks also to its relationships with civic and cultural institutions, military authorities, and diplomatic corps, the Società del Giardino is today an important point of reference for Milanese life and an important institution of Milanese tradition.
The Società del Giardino is one of the ten oldest gentlemen’s clubs in the world that has remained continuously in operation since its founding (the only brief period of closure was from 26 February to 10 March 1853, following the Milanese revolution of 6 February of that same year).