Did you know Milano is a city built on water? No, we are not trying to compete with Venice, but it is a fact not everyone knows that the city, since ancient times, has always been crossed by canals and waterways. What is left today is the Navigli area, and it is one of the city’s most loved.

 

But there is actually more: did you know that you can actually surf in Milano? At Idroscalo, which residents affectionately call Milano’s Seaside, you can find the largest wave pool in the world.

 

Here are our tips for living your summer by the water in Milano.

Surf and fun at the Idroscalo

You can surf In Milano! It seems unbelievable, but at Idroscalo you can experience a thrill riding a wave up to 2 meters high and 10 wide, with a water thickness of 70 cm in the largest wave pool in the world.

If you are a surfer you will be able to use the same boards that are used at sea, with the feeling of an authentic wave under your feet. If you would like to learn, it is possible to rent a surfboard and book your first lesson with Wakeparadise instructors.

 

Idroscalo also offers many other exciting activities as wakeboarding and rowing, sailing and finswimming, stand up paddle and fishing. If you are not into getting wet, you may choose from many other activities: from skating to mountain biking, from free climbing to cross country or you can simply relax on the bathing beach - equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas and deck chairs by the shore.

Day and Night Along the Canals: the Navigli area

Is there anything better in the summer than having a stroll, taking a bike ride or sipping an aperitivo by the water?
One of the most loved places in the city is the
Navigli district: a bustling nightlife hub, where restaurants, pubs, taverns and night clubs guarantee pleasant evenings that start with a sunset drink.

 

But the place is not only alive at night. The canal banks are lined with artists' studios, craft shops and picturesque corners to linger in, such as Vicolo dei Lavandai, a romantic spot where you may well want to take a photo.

 

Do not forget Darsena, Milano’s ancient port, where you can sit and relax with your feet dangling over the water or take a stroll in the nearby market.

For those who wish to take a bike ride, possibly with a bike from the various bike sharing companies in the city, the banks of the Navigli are an ideal route. There are short and long bike rides allowing you to enjoy the city and reach out into the countryside, not far from Darsena.

Find the cycling routes to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the Navigli Lombardi website.

 

A CURIOSITY: did you know that Milano has a fully operational gondola? A real gondola from Venice that a local, in love with this boat, has recovered and brought to the Navigli. He will take on a tour anyone who wants to experience the thrill of navigating Milano’s canals in such an unusual way.

It is also possible to participate in traditional boat tours of the Navigli, and sometimes dinner can be included. Find all the information on the Navigli Lombardi website.

The most Instagrammed Fountain in Milano

As we are deep into our water theme... do you know which is the most Instagrammed fountain in Milano?

It is quite impressive and so very large that you can sit on its edge to rest: no matter its size, you are not supposed to dive in, anyway.

This does not stop the hundreds of people who sit on it every day, for a moment of rest near the water, as they explore how enticing and fun Milano can be in the summer.

It is the fountain in front of the Castello Sforzesco, also known as the Wedding Cake for its shape, which brings to mind one of those glorious white cakes people eat at weddings. A photo with the main entrance of the Castle - the Filarete Tower - in the background, is one of the most spectacular shots you may take in the city.

A dip in the pool

It can be hot in Milano during the summer. How about a dip in the pool? There are many pools in Milano. Lido (Piazzale Lotto, 15) and the Argelati pool (Via Segantini, 6), the outdoor swimming pools of Sant’Abbondio (Via S. Abbondio, 12), Cardellino (Via del Cardellino, 3) and Saini (Via Corelli, 136), not forgetting the central and historic Piscina Cozzi (Viale Tunisia, 35).

 

If you want to combine an aperitivo with some music or a poolside show, don't miss the Bagni Misteriosi pool (Via Carlo Botta, 18): 9600 sqm in the Porta Romana area, next to the Franco Parenti Theatre.

 

You can also enjoy sunbathing and a dip in the pools or at the Acquapark at  Idroscalo, the artificial freshwater basin not far from Linate airport.