Look at how much water flows here. How many canals … Do you know them all? We would like to tell you something more about Naviglio della Martesana, known to the very few yet very fascinating.

Let’s start from this corner of beauty, once called Cassina de Pomm.
You can get here cycling along Via Melchiorre Gioia, pay attention, this is a very congested street!
As soon as you will reach the street number 181 (on the left side) you can start your itinerary: here the street completely changes and the signs suggest you to go on the right side – right where the “hidden” canal originates from.

First of all, check if everything’s in order: do your bike’s pedals, brakes and handlebars work? You can offer your patient parents a coffee at
Cafè Martesana and… Ready, steady and go!

This canal is named after the rural area existing at the Sforza’s times (do you remember the Castello Sforzesco?) – many many years ago. Martesana – as well as the other canals – was used to transport goods and then people. During your ride indeed, you will notice canal’s banks are rich in history simply looking at the houses overlooking it – once considered as holiday destinations.

Enjoy this safe bike path! You will cycle under a bridge where trains go through. Do you know that, if you go under exactly when the train is going through, it will bring you luck?

In a few minutes – on the opposite bank – you will see a huge park: Parco di Villa Finzi.
If you’d like to visit it, just cross the bridge. Take advantage of it! It is a fenced park, so you’d better look at opening and closing times beforehand. (Taverna Greca Mykonos)

After passing Viale Monza (you will go under the old Gorla bridge), on your left, just further on – leave the bike path, pass the old bridge and go and have a look at the small square called Piazza Piccoli Martiri and its monument: a woman with her face covered, holding in her arms a dead baby.

This statue was built in memory of all those children like you who unfortunately died at school during the Second World War bombings.

We don’t want you to grow sad. This is why we would like you to see – just above your heads, after passing Viale Monza, a super famous place where during the past – and still today – debuting comic actors do their performances. You have probably seen this show on the TV, just know that your grandparents and parents as well spent very funny nights out at Zelig! (Casa dei Ciliegi)

Now go back – to the headway – and start pedalling again!
Have a look around and you will surely notice that – sometimes – among these modern buildings and the tree branches you will also spot old houses and small farmsteads.

You will immediately see another green area, indeed you are approaching Parco della Martesana one of Milan public parks where you will also find a playground and an outside amphitheatre where city and neighbour events are held.

As soon as you will enter the park you can visit Cascina Martesana (Martesana Farmstead) – a lovely place your parents might consider as a little weird one.
This a plane place, the ideal one where to meet some friends to chat. It was abandoned and neglected for a long time – almost reduced to ruins – before being turned into a meeting place and thus a great resource for the neighbourhood thanks to its inner garden with a barbeque area, a ping-pong table, some hammocks and a bar to dine or have a drink. Have you noticed the Cascina symbol? It is a coypu, a cross among a huge rat, a beaver and an otter. You might spot some here, but don’t be afraid! We assure you they will not hurt you!

Right outside the park you will feel to be really far from the city, in the countryside. Have a look around always paying attention not to fall down. Look at these buildings’ details yet without daydreaming, since you will immediately realize you are still inside the city – you should carefully cross the street light in Via Adriano and go straight on, along the cycle path in via Padova. This is a very congested area hiding many many treasures.

Indeed – on your right – you will spot an alley taking you to a small hamlet; we are talking about via Berra. Further on, you will see a beautiful abbey – Abbazia di Santa Maria Rossa – a very important monument – unfortunately known to the very few – you should visit accurately.

Now, cycle along via Padova – always paying a lot of attention – until you will see – on your left – a sign: even though it seems a blind alley pedestrians and cyclists are allowed to go on.

This is via Idro– all immersed in the greenery, with the Martesana flowing on your left. According to our opinion, this is the most pleasant stretch where you can literally smell the countryside perfumes.
At a certain point, you will see a white gate hindering you. You’ve reached the crossroad between Martesana and Lambro river and you can choose whether go further or back home. From the starting point
Cafè Martesana– you covered 6 km and you will cover another 6 to go back there.

For the moment your tour ends here, even though manoxmano promises you to take you here – and even beyond – again. You have to use your bike with caution!
While going back – in Via Padova – look at your left and admire the beautiful villas and houses overlooking this street – called riviera di Crescenzago (Crescenzago coastline). Coastline? And what about the sea? Actually this was such a pleasant and beautiful area to spend some time out, that Milanese rich and noble families had their own summer holiday houses here.
We didn’t show it before since it would have been too dangerous for you to pay attention at the street while looking on the opposite side.

* Cascina Martesana timetable
everyday from 1 p.m. to midnight, on Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

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