See Mi­lan from a different an­gle by tak­ing a boat cruise on the city's wide­spread net­work of canals. A highly strate­gic net­work used in the past to ir­ri­gate the fields and for trade. By

Where Milan - - CONTENTS -

See Mi­lan from a different an­gle by tak­ing a boat cruise on the city's wide­spread net­work of canals

May is a great time to visit Mi­lan and its sur­round­ings from a com­pletely new per­spec­tive: the Nav­igli. The Nav­igli are a net­work of canals that were built at the be­gin­ning of 1179 with the help of Leonardo da Vinci who de­vised a sys­tem of locks that are still vis­i­ble to­day. They were also used to trans­port the enor­mous mar­ble blocks re­quired to build the Duomo. This is the idea pro­posed by Nav­igazione Nav­igli which of­fers tours, com­pris­ing four itin­er­ar­ies, to dis­cover the his­tory of the canals which still sur­round the city and its en­vi­rons. If you're vis­it­ing Mi­lan for the first time or are pressed for time, opt for the Darsena itin­er­ary, an orig­i­nal daily tour that al­lows you to ex­plore the vi­brant Nav­igli district, an area packed with pubs, restau­rants, ar­ti­sanal work­shops and his­toric build­ings. The de­par­ture point for the tour – held daily from April to Septem­ber – is the Alzaia Nav­iglio Grande 4 (M2 Porta Gen­ova, Map E6). Just mo­ments af­ter dock­ing, you can ad­mire the Vi­colo dei La­vandai, whose name de­rives from the wash house – still vis­i­ble to­day – used by the Mi­lanese to do their laun­dry un­til the 1950's. As the cruise con­tin­ues you'll drift past the 17th cen­tury Palazzo Gal­loni, now home to the Cen­tro dell'In­ci­sione (En­grav­ing Cen­tre) and the mon­u­men­tal com­plex of San Cristo­foro con­sist­ing of a church in­clud­ing two churches, a bridge and a wash house. At this point the boat turns around for the last stretch of the tour which in­cludes the Darsena, Mi­lan's old dock­yards, for­merly an im­por­tant node for wa­ter-borne trans­port and trade boast­ing nu­mer­ous moor­ing and berthing fa­cil­i­ties for boats and barges. The tour of­fers on-board com­men­tary in Ital­ian and English. Chiara Zaccarelli The de­par­ture points for the other itin­er­ar­ies are lo­cated out­side Mi­lan and tours are only held on week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days. • Delizie Itin­er­ary. A tour of the vil­las of the Nav­iglio Grande (West of Mi­lan) with board­ing at Bof­falora sul Ti­cino (Pi­azza IV Gi­ugno). Ev­ery Sun­day, 1h tour. • Marte­sana Itin­er­ary. A tour of the Nav­iglio della Marte­sana (North East of Mi­lan), with board­ing at Vaprio d'Adda (Casa del Cus­tode delle Acque). Ev­ery Sun­day, 1h tour. • Pan­per­duto Itin­er­ary. This tour boards at Somma Lom­bardo (North West of Mi­lan), at the ‘Ostello Pan­per­duto', and in­cludes a visit to the Pan­per­duto Dam. Ev­ery Satur­day and Sun­day, 1h tour.

>> For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and reser­va­tions: www.mi­lan­canal­ T: 02 30089940.

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