Milano is a city built on water. Since ancient times numerous canals and waterways have always crossed it.

Today the famous Navigli (canals) remain, lived all year round, and not only for walks, nightlife or Christmas markets.

 

Here you can find our tips to live Milano on the water during the winter season.

Runners and rowers

Runners and rowers continue to train and row along the Navigli, regardless of the temperature approaching zero; it's just a matter of getting yourself ready with the right clothes.

 

Put on your thermal clothes and sneakers and.. let's go!

"Cimento invernale": a dive in the canals in January

The highlight of winter on the water in Milano is in January when the Cimento invernale brings back a Milanese tradition almost more than a century-long. The most daring and passionate swimmers dive into the icy waters of the Naviglio Grande at the Chiesetta di San Cristoforo, one of the most loved churches by the Milanese.

 

In 2020 the Cimento is on Saturday, January 25th at midnight for the most courageous divers, and on Sunday, January 26th at noon for the other 50 divers.

Milano's gondola

A curiosity: did you know that in Milano there is a gondola in full operation? A real gondola that arrives from Venice, which a Milanese, in love with this boat, has recovered and brought to the Naviglio, where he accompanies with his strokes anyone who wants to experience the thrill of navigating the canals of Milano in such an unusual way. 

Ride your bike along the canal banks

For those who love to get around riding a bike, the banks alongside the Navigli (canals) of Milano are an ideal path. You can choose between short or long routes to enjoy the city or explore the countryside just outside the city limits.

Don’t have a bike? Use Milano's bike-sharing services! It is very easy: all you need is your credit card. You can also buy a daily pass to explore an area at a time.

Surf and fun at the Idroscalo

In Milano you can surf! It seems unbelievable, but at the 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 want to learn, you can rent a table and book your first lesson with Wakeparadise instructors.

 

Don't let the cold stop you: all you need is a wetsuit and you're ready to go! 

 

The Idroscalo also offers many other exciting activities such as wakeboarding and rowing, sailing and finswimming, stand up paddle and fishing. All you need to do is remember to wear the appropriate clothes to have fun in the cold!

The most Instagrammed fountain in Milano

Speaking of water... do you know which is the most Instagrammed fountain in Milano?

It is very beautiful, it is very large, you can sit on the edge to rest. You can't dive in there though.

But this does not stop the hundreds of people who sit here every day, for a moment of pause near the water, in their tours to discover how beautiful and fun Milano is.

It is the fountain in front of the Castello Sforzesco, also called "the cake of the spouses" for its shape, which recalls the plans of a very white cake created to celebrate a wedding. A photo with the Torre del Filarete in the background, the main entrance of the Castle, is one of the most loved shots by those in the city.