Navigli, Milan's secret canals

Aug 02, 2021 265

BY: Giulia Franceschini

Memories of Milan bring images of the Duomo and Via Montenapoleone to mind, art and fashion remaining two of the reasons people like the city so much. But if you’ve visited, and especially if you’ve lived there and enjoyed your evenings and weekend the way locals do, then you must be fond of the navigli, Milan’s own canals.

Water isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about Milan: contrarily to other major cities in Italy and the world, the Lombardia capital wasn’t built around a river. There is no Po nor Tiber, no Thames nor Seine here. As early as the 12th century, in 1177,  however,  the Naviglio Grande, or Grand Canal,  was inaugurated, making of it one of the oldest navigable canals in the continent: the Milanese understood how important waterways could be for their welfare and their economy. 

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