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Navigli of Milan, where (almost) everything is possible

The fact that passing tourists liked them a lot is nothing new. But today i Navigli of Milan they are experiencing a new, happy season, capable of surpassing the usual cliche. Yes, they are still there (and fortunately!) some painters' studios and to the mythical Alda Merini the first bridge on was titled Ripa di Porta Ticinese (she who was at home at number 47), but now the Navigli have also become something else. «I really liked the Navigli even in the Seventies when all the places were délabré and poetic, but I didn't mind the way they remade them. I find that they have given life and vitality back to the Darsena. I particularly like them in the summer and frequent them a lot. I hate anyone who complains about noise: noise is life, silence is death. So long live the Navigli, i outdoor and the kids having fun!”, the Milanese tells us Andrea Kerbakerwriter, collector, cultural entrepreneur, founder of Kasa of Books and so passionate about his city that he has just dedicated a delightful one to it Sentimental road book (published by Bur Rizzoli, recommended reading, for Milanese and non-Milanese alike).

Andrea Kerbaker spends a lot of time on the Navigli, especiallylast Sunday of the month: «My favorite place is the bank because it is here that, thanks to the closure to traffic, a “market” with around a hundred exhibitors where you can also make purchases of a certain importance for book and antique enthusiasts like me. On those days you don't walk because of the crowds, especially in the afternoon.” The suggested route? «As a lover of books and literature, how can I not remember that he was born in these parts Bonvesin de la Riva who, in Dante's time, wrote an exaggerated praise of my city? I often think about it when I walk around here: the bank is almost a kilometer long, a nice little walk. After the confluence with via Valenza however the landscape changes: the road widens, it is no longer just pedestrian, it opens up to cars. Even the road surface rises a few meters and the Naviglio, made invisible by the line of cars, is almost no longer noticeable. And this is how the bank proceeds up to the bridge in via Cassala, named after Guido Crepax, Valentina's “dad”. It starts from there via Ludovico il Morofor Kerbaker it is a new “change of skin”: «I find all the variety of this area interesting, but personally I prefer to arrive at via Valenza, cross the bridge and go up along the Naviglio Grande: the towpath, unlike the bank, is full of craft shops and clubs. A world unto itself, almost a small independent village.” Which deserves to be explored.

The Navigli are, especially in this spring period, the perfect place for free time in the city, after work or on the weekend. In fact, there is no shortage of opportunities for activities and entertainment.

A glimpse of the Naviglio Grande, towards Gaggiano

Navigate along the Naviglio (also by gondola)

Once the critical period of drought has passed, some parts of the Naviglio Grande are navigable again: just access the Navigami website to see what itineraries are available this month. The routes, of variable duration, allow you to see thethe Naviglio Grande from a different point of view than usual. There is, for example, the one and a half hour route, which arrives at Trezzano sul Naviglio with stops also in Corsico and Buccinasco: it is the most requested. The landscape becomes more picturesque when leaving the city: with another itinerary, which however starts from Boffalorayou can go up all the ancient canals they overlooked the villas of delight of the Lombard lords of the past and reach the Morimondo Abbey. Among the many possible combinations there is also that of leaving the car in a municipality outside Milan (like Corsico) and arriving at Darsena via the canal.

For some time now, it has also been possible to pretend to be in Venice: A Gondola in Milan is a new private service that allows you to enjoy a stroll around the Milanese canals from the Darsena. It's about half an hour of navigation, with the traditional Venetian boat (here is some more information): the buildings are not those of the Serenissima, but those who tried it said it was a fun experience.

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For athletes: the center of excellence

There Rowers Milan they are “the sports club” par excellence of the Navigli. They have an ancient history and the headquarters, at number 160 of the Naviglio Grande towpath, worth a visit. Canottieri Milano, founded in 1890, is today a sports club that has produced various talents. If you pass by the Darsena during your lunch break or in the late afternoon, you will recognize the traditional canoes with athletes of various ages and abilities training. For those who wish, there are CAS, introductory sports courses and summer programs for children and teenagers dedicated to water sports that can be practiced on the Navigli.

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Perfect break (for adults and children)

It is enough to move a few steps away from the Darsena and at number 9 of via Vigevano, here is a special space for those who love contemporary art: it is the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation which the great sculpture and artist opened here in the mid-nineties to welcome young artists. In recent times, in addition to exhibition projectswith exhibitions always open to the public, and the conservation of the archive of Pomodoro's works, useful to students and researchers, the Foundation has become a very popular space for families with childrenthanks to the workshops and creative activities designed for them at the weekend, both in the internal courtyard and in the spaces of the large headquarters.

Photo CarlosampDario Tettamanzi.  Courtesy Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation

Photo Carlos&Dario Tettamanzi. Courtesy Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation

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Source: Vanity Fair

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