Before arriving in Milan, Leonardo wrote to the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, saying that he ‘knew how to conduct water from one place to another’.

Numerous sketches contained in Leonardo’s Codex Atlanticus indicate that he had always been fascinated by hydraulic works and water flow: as soon as he arrived in Milan Leonardo decided to commit himself to making further improvements to the city’s entire canal system: ‘first I'll get some experience, then I’ll proceed’.

The Naviglio Grande was the canal that Leonardo dedicated most of his attention to; construction began in 1177 in Tornavento and it was extended to connect to the dock in Milan in 1209. When it eventually became navigable, in 1272, it was also used to transport slabs of Candoglia marble to the Laghetto di Santo Stefano, a small lake in the centre of the city used during the construction of the Duomo.

Bike ride along the Naviglio Grande






Bike ride along the Naviglio di Bereguardo

Bike ride along the Naviglio Martesana

Bike ride along the Naviglio di Paderno

Bike ride along the Naviglio Pavese