Your journey at the discovery of Milan cannot be completed without a visit of the Navigli district. A charming place that preserves its historical and innovative characteristics and it is considered as the centre of the Milanese movida.
When we talk about Milan’s Navigli district we refer to the Darsena area, the port of Milan near Piazza XXIV Maggio and the streets along the Naviglio Grande that once linked Milan to Switzerland, plus, the Naviglio Pavese, which linked the city to Pavia.
The first navigable part of the Navigli was built in the XII century and the construction of this important transportation system, connecting the Lake Maggiore and the Lake Como with the centre of the city, last until the XX century.
The Navigli’s sluices system was refined by Leonardo Da Vinci who, appointed by Ludovico Il Moro, found innovative solutions to align the terrain differences along the Martesana.
Through the Naviglio Grande was carried the precious white Candoglia’s marble from the Lake Maggiore, the one used to cover the Duomo’s façade.
Furthermore, in 1850 Napoleon completed the Naviglio Pavese allowing the city connection with the sea.
This amazing media of transportation was abandoned in the middle of the XIX century, supplanted by trains and railroads, but through all these centuries it was travelled by the many personalities which helped establish the prestige of Milan until today.
Nowadays, this area is considered one of the most charming residential areas of the city. The refurbished characteristic ringhiera buildings (with railings) are much admired and reminiscent of Milan’s historical past. The neighborhood is always buzzing: by day it is the location for many markets (on the last Sunday of each month the important antiques market is held there), art galleries and craft shops, at night it is illuminated by the lights of masses of bars and restaurants making it one of the most lively and attractive districts of the city.
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