It is the oldest park in the city, for centuries a place of walking and events, games and sports competitions. From 1662 the area, raised above the surrounding areas because since the Middle Ages it had been dedicated to the accumulation of rubble and rubbish, was destined for public use: partly occupied by vegetable gardens and mulberry trees, for the rest it was equipped with wide avenues and a central square available to visitors.
The current design dates back to the early 1800's, when Napoleon's wish it was reconsidered by G. B. Martinetti according to geometries inspired by French-style gardens. In 1896 the Montagnola was enriched with the great monumental staircase that looks towards Porta Galliera. Later, in the centre of the park was placed the circular basin, embellished with large sculptures by Diego Sarti, which had been created for the Margherita Gardens at the time of the Emilian Exhibition (1888).
The park covers an area of 6 hectares and is the home of some secular plane trees planted in Napoleonic times.