Did you know that until 1920s Milan was a city like Venice? A stroll along the Navigli is a must for whoever comes here!
Naturally crossed by rivers, Milan was surrounded by a moat since the Roman age. The very first artificial canal, the NAVIGLIO GRANDE, was started to be built in 1171, to join the city with the river Ticino, and this gave way to the development of commerce and agriculture. Since then, other canals were added, such as the NAVIGLIO PAVESE and the NAVIGLIO MARTESANA. This important system of waterways was used to transport coal, as well as wood, wine, milk, food, and even the blocks of marble for the construction of the Duomo!
Our itinerary includes a stroll along the canals to discover the DARSENA, the ancient harbor of Milan, nowadays completely renovated, as well as the Canal Naviglio Grande, the “Vicolo dei Lavandai“, the narrow street dedicated to the so-called washermen, in charge of transporting clothes to the washerwomen, who used to wash them along the canals, the church of San Cristoforo, i.e. Saint Cristopher, a jewel made up of two churches built in different times, one dating back to the 12th century and renovated in the 14th century, the other built in the 15th century, attached to the old one. We will then reach the Naviglio Pavese, to admire the beautiful colorful and traditional “Case di ringhiera“, tenements with communal balconies, where they used to produce and store cheese.
Last but not least, we will visit the magnificent church of Saint Eustorgio, that houses the relics of the Three Kings, with the impressive Chapel Portinari, first example of Renaissance Architecture in Milan.