A visit to Milan cannot be complete without seeing the Navigli and what better way to admire them but by bike?The 5 Lombard Navigli - Bereguardo, Grande, Martesana, Paderno and Pavese - are the oldest artificial canals in Europe.
Built starting from the XII century, they enabled Milan to connect with Lake Maggiore (through the River Ticino), with Lake Como (through the River Adda) and with the city of Pavia and the River Po. They were important waterways for transport and for irrigation. The Candoglia marble used for the construction of the Milan Duomo was also transported along the Navigli from the quarries in the Val d'Ossola.
Over the centuries, a great cultural heritage sprung up along the banks of the canals: noble summer residences, mills, castles, abbeys, plus, beautiful rural and natural landscapes. But let's take a look at the 5 cycling routes along the waterways that bring sport, nature and art together.
THE NAVIGLIO GRANDE
BIKE RIDE FROM MILAN TO ABBIATEGRASSO (20 km)
The Naviglio Grande connects Milan’s Darsena dockland area to the Ticino.
Our bike itinerary, however, starts from the Porta Genova station because the lively Navigli area is now almost entirely pedestrian, packed with restaurants and bars serving at outdoor tables. What's more, due to the numerous events taking place in the area, cycling around can be difficult.
This route is not actually a cycle path but a service towpath, completely flat and paved, but without a parapet (be very careful if you are with children) and may be used only subject to strict rules, such as the 15 Km/h speed limit.