A City without water sometimes is like a Martini without an olive. Walking along a gentle promenade while staring at the sea, sipping your favorite Chardonnay looking at the placid flow of a river, or rowing in a lake to catch an early breeze, are pleasures that cannot be missed!
Right…so what does have this in common with Milano? Believe it or not, Milano was built over water, and for many centuries creeks and waterways shaped the borders of the city. Not exactly like Venice, the old town was fitted with small canals and basins, that served for both military and trading purposes.
And now? The few remains of this “hydric” legacy are the home of the Milanese “aperitivo” and witness everyday its sparkling nightlife! So get your kit, lace up and follow us for a stroll through the Navigli!
We leave the central Duomo Square and move along Via Torino, one of Milano’s busiest shopping streets, and after checking out at the Chiesa di S. Maria presso S. Satiro, the Tempio Civico di San Sebastiano, and the Chiesa di S. Alessandro in Zebedia with the nearby Palazzo Archinto, we will make a quick bend and dive into Via di Porta Ticinese. Bricks you say? Yes! So don’t be surprised if you spot some watchtowers or some old walls here and there!
Our journey towards water will continue along some of Milano’s most featured churches like the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, with its superfamous Colonne and the related Parco delle Basiliche, Porta Ticinese and the recent Wall of the Dolls, as Milano slightly fades into Middle Age…
After crossing Molino delle Armi, we will keep going and slide by another massive church, the Basilica of Sant’ Eustorgio, and after walking through Porta Ticinese, the Darsena, the Naviglio Pavese and the Naviglio Grande will pop up in front of us! We will then direct our ride on the Naviglio Grande, and its paved road, and after a quick visit to Vico Lavandai, we will turn back after the Chiesa of San Cristoforo Sul Naviglio.
Just the time to taste some fine street artworks between Via Pesto and Via San Cristoforo, that…fashionnnnn is ready to welcome us! A quick ride through Via Tortona, one of the hubs of Milano’s Fashion Week and Cultural Events, with all its studios, Giorgio Armani Silos and the Mudec will give you a taste about the craziness invading the town when supermodels are around!
Over here? Naaah, not at all! After regaining our track back to Via Conca del Naviglio and Via Arena (where Milano’s Coliseum was located), it’s now time to admire maybe the two most famous holy sites of Milano: the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio (or Sant Ambroeus for the Milanese…), Milan’s holy protector, and the worldwide acclaimed Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the super upscale Magenta district where the Da Vinci’s Last Supper is hosted!
Once there, we will move our feet back to the Centre, back to the Duomo square, where our ride ends…but before finishing, why not having a look at the former Roman Imperial Palace at Via Brisa, the Italian Stock Exchange Building at Palazzo Mezzanotte, and the Middle-Aged Piazza dei Mercanti? Between past present and future, history and faith, fashion and business, in just 10km you will taste all the different sides that a city like Milano can offer to its visitors!