The history of Milan is closely connected with the system of canals, that pass through the whole city. The area characterized by the Navigli is certainly one of the most picturesque of Milan.
The oldest canal Naviglio Grande takes it’s water from the Ticino river. Tha canal was constructed from 1177 to 1257 and is about 50 km long. In the past it was used as transporting way of goods, particularly for the blocks of marble that were used for building the Cathedral.
Typical, old Milan houses, old wash-houses with wooden beamed roofs and craftsmen’s workshops remember on passed times. Today you find boutiques and ateliers of artist of Milan, cafes, restaurants and old moored barges fitted out as bars for meeting the typical atmosphere and the young Milan people.
It was built at the beginning of the 14th century and starts from the Darsena (habour) and flows into the Ticino river after 33 km which joins after a while Po river that flows into the Adria see.
The Darsena was built in 1603 and it’s basin is the only remaining evidence of the vast system of canals and waterways in Milan. The Grand Canal flow into the Darsena and the Pavia Canal and the Ticinello flow out.
Here, every last Sunday of the month the colourful flea market takes place where second-hand goods and antiques may be found.
Il Naviglio della Martesana is supplied by the Adda river that get it’s water from the Lake Lecco. Along the towns Inzago, Gorgonzola and Cernusco sul Naviglio a bikeway leeds into the heat of Milan, where the canal disappears in the underground.
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