- Art & Culture
Guided tour by boat on the Navigli of Milan
On foot and by boat along Milan’s canals
Our guides (always and only qualified professionals!) tell you the history of the Navigli of Milan, which starts in the 12th century when the first navigable stretch was built. At that time, Milan was a city with rivers and canals regulated by ingenious technical solutions. Towards the end of the 15th century, Leonardo da Vinci conceived of an innovative system of locks, then implemented by great engineers. The itinerary also includes a very pleasant cruise by boat, during which our tour guides will let you rediscover the neighbourhood of the Navigli. It is already one of the most best known in Milan, of its famous or infamous nightlife when it comes to life every evening from aperitif time to the small hours of the morning, but it is also, for example, the neighbourhood where Alda Merini, the great Milanese poetess, lived and which she celebrated.
The visit on foot…
Our guided tour, on foot and by boat, starts in the neighbourhood of the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio, one of the oldest churches in Milan, founded between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The apostle Barnabas is believed to have baptized the first Christians here. The visit goes on to discover the history and anecdotes linked to the Ticinese neighbourhood, until we reach our boat at the pier of Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 4. In the not so distant past, the Milanese canals, plied by barges and boats, went into the heart of the city to transport the blocks of marble needed to build the Duomo.
… and the tour by boat of the Navigli
During the tour, you can admire scenic corners and secret courtyards in the typical Milanese “ringhiera” houses, built around a central courtyard, calmly sailing in front of forgotten traditions and historical places such as the picturesque Vicolo dei Lavandai, where for centuries women did their washing and the 14th century Church of San Cristoforo; returning to the Darsena, the old Milanese port, our guide will show you the bridge of the “Scodellino” under which the boat passes, to reach the Conchetta, the famous lock designed by Leonardo da Vinci on the Naviglio Pavese.