We decided to propose you a particular tour so that you could go from one Naviglio to the other one (from Naviglio Grande to Naviglio Pavese), taking the first one to “go out” and the second one to “come back” in town! In this way, you will go through unknown quarters, but don’t worry… manoxmano assures you that they are calm and beautiful. It’s nice to see also parts of Milan that you didn’t know before!
You could start your trip from the Darsena and take the right Naviglio, the Naviglio Grande,since the beginning, but we suggest you Porta Genova Station as starting point, so that you won’t get stuck in the crowd that usually occupies the first part of the canal. Porta Genova Station is an ancient station of the city and it’s easily reachable by tube! From here, just take Via Valenza, and you’ll be right near the water! C’mon, let’s start!
Go on pedalling together with your parents and friends. It’s a very calm quarter, but when the Naviglio crosses very congested streets, you have to pay attention. Right in front of you, on this street, there’s Pisotti, a huge shop that sells everything concerning “paper”… notebooks, pencils, marker pens, dishes and glasses for your parties. It’ impossible to tell you everything that is sold in this shop, but if you need something for school, remember Pisotti!
Go on along this street and you’ll find a little piece of heaven: near a small iron bridge, you’ll notice on your right the Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio (San Cristoforo Church), a hidden peace corner with a small square where you can sit on a bench and admire the grace and simplicity of this small church. The best thing you could ever do is to go on that bridge and take a picture of the church so that you could preserve this memory forever!
Even if the landscape is a city one, pedalling near the Naviglio is an incredible experience! And what does that big blue writing stand for? Can you see it? Here there’s the headquarters of an old and famous sport association of Milan: Società Canottieri Milano… Well, here they teach you to canoe (and not only this!). Just consider that canoeists train on the Naviglio and then go compete at the Idroscalo artificial pond. And now, in front of you, there’s a great mural about canoes. Some canoeists of San Cristoforo made it to spur you to try this fantastic sport!
The trip goes on and you’ll soon see the Naviglio meeting a river, the Lambro, that passes through the park of the same name (the Parco Lambro). Keep on pedalling: there’s still a long way to go, but don’t worry, not too much. In fact, near Lambro river, you’ll find another iron bridge that you’ll use to go to the other side of the Naviglio and go back in town!
You’ll see a church that it might be insignificant at first sight, but in reality it’s one of the first examples of neoclassical architecture in Lombardy. “But what is neoclassical architecture?”
We’ll explain it right now so that the next time you’ll see something similar, you’ll recognize this style: 200 years ago all the architects had the “obsession” for Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans (maybe some of you have already studied them!) and also for their constructions. In fact, don’t you think that this part of church looks like a Greek temple?
Now you have to leave this Naviglio to reach the Naviglio Pavese. So, on your right, turn into via Parenzo. Nearby, there’s a big park, the Parco Andrea Campagna su viale Faenza, a perfect place to take a break and do a picnic or just pedal so fast that even if you fall, you won’t hurt yourself as much as on the asphalt!
Enjoy this moment of relax in the park, because, once you left it, you will have to cross a quarter full of buildings and large streets (not so attractive from a landscape point of view); but to reach the other Naviglio it’s necessary to take this street. Manoxmano tries to propose you the most beautiful and impressive itineraries, but you live in a city, so it’s normal to meet some crossroads! But don’t worry, in about fifteen minutes you’ll reach the Naviglio Pavese!
So guys, whether you stopped or not, move on along viale Faenza and after the Piazza Miani, go straight in Viale Famagosta… try to pedal in the minor street, otherwise go on the sidewalk, paying attention and being respectful of pedestrians. We’ll soon turn right in Via Ovada, which is a calmer area!
We recommend you to cross the street paying attention to the traffic light and the pedestrian crossing at the end of via Ovada. When you’ll see that huge parking in Famagosta, stay on the left sidewalk and avoid via Palatucci congested junction. There will be a cycle path under a bridge that will take you in via Don Rodrigo. From here, you’ll reach one of the sides of Naviglio where we have to sail… oh sorry.. pedal!
Here there’s the water… we arrived.. now turn right, go on the bridge and reach the other side… But first, turn left to the centre of the city: we suggest you to lengthen your trip… we have to make you see a very nice church that “it’s a miracle it still exists after all the historical events that happened”, as a tourist guide of Milan said. It’s the Chiesa di Santa Maria alla Fonte (commonly known as Chiesa Rossa like the name of this street) that it’s possible to visit only before the unique Mass of the day*!
Right here, inside this green space, we want to make you see a beautiful library of the city, the Biblioteca Chiesa Rossa, obtained by an old farmstead! Beyond being a stunning place full of shelves rich in wonderful books, this farmstead has a big park where it’s possible to play and have fun… A very pleasant place where, if you want to, you can spend a couple of hours!
Nearby this farmstead, if you still didn’t take a break and you are hungry, we recommend you a historical tavern of Milan, the Osteria della Conca Fallata,where many years ago comedians like Cochi and Renato came to amuse people. Maybe you don’t know them, but if you ask your parents, they will surely burst into laugh! (Erba Brusca)
Now turn your bike and come back to your itinerary. Near the bridge you have crossed before, on your right, you’ll cross via Neera. At the first crossroad, you’ll find a beautiful and impressive modern church, the Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunciata. We suggest you to enter, because you’ll find a fantastic surprise. You have never seen a church so colourful! As soon as you entered in the building, you’ll be astonished by its beauty! Inside, there’s a Dan Flavin’s work of art, many lights of different colours projected on the church walls.
As soon as you finish visiting it, come back to the Naviglio shore and go straight to the Darsena, in other words to the city centre.
You surely aren’t in the countryside, but as first visit to the flows of your city, it’s more than enough! But pay attention, because you are in a congested street and you should stay in single file! We remind you that here you’ll find a shop called Bicicletteria that repairs bikes… you know, never say never! Going on straight, you’ll always have the Naviglio Pavese on your left and on the other side huge buildings, while on your side they are less modern and reflect the ancient style of Navigli. (L’Osteria Conchetta)
Along the itinerary, if you are pedalling together with your children and you’re looking for a “family-friendly” restaurant, Anadima bistrot is perfect for you! Pedalling straight, you’ll notice that the last part of the Naviglio Pavese is not reachable by bike, because you’ll be in the wrong direction. So, we suggest you to get off your bike and go on walking just for a few meters, but don’t miss this quarter because it’s very special!
If you’re hungry and you want to reward yourself for the effort, we recommend you a delicious Japanese restaurant where you can take a break… Sushi all’Osteria Tsuru. At the end of the street, after some big stairs, you’ll see the “new” Darsena dei Navigli!
It has been inaugurated on April, 26 2015 and it seems a big habor (as it was in the past). You’ll forget to be in a chaotic city and you’ll enjoy the suggestive reflections produced by the water! Try to come here during the sunset, you’ll be entranced by its beauty!
You should know that inside it hosts a big space where there is a colourful and rich market that reminds us the ancient tradition of the city market, where you can find fruiterers, delicatessen owners, florists, fishmongers, etc… It’s a market almost on the water! And to conclude this fantastic day, you will be able to relax in the new market square, which has been obtained from the destruction of the old one. You may be amused by some concerts or outdoor expositions. Only curious people will always find something interesting to admire or remember…
Now manoxmano lets you enjoy this news pace. Some people say it’s beautiful, other ones say it’s not… and you, what do you think about it? You are the new citizens and it has been made for you so that you can enjoy it and live it in the best way ever! Just an advice: do not ruin it!*Chiesa Rossa timetable:
• Sunday: from 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. – at 11.30 a.m. the Holy Mass
• Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday: from 6 p.m. to 6.30 o.m. – at 6.30 p.m. the Holy Mass
• Tuesday/Friday: from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. – at 6.30 p.m. the Holy Mass
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