Milan by bicycle - From the Darsena dockland to Pavia

A journey on two wheels along the Naviglio Pavese

It’s time to explore the great Lombard metropolis by ditching the car keys and getting your trainers on for some great cycling!

Milan has created a cohesive infrastructure for bicycles with dedicated cycle paths and restricted traffic areas so it’s now a city for getting on your bike!

Here’s an itinerary along the  Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, the towpath that leads from the Darsena docklands to the city outskirts, pedalling through the extensive green open-air spaces of southern Milan.

From the Darsena to the Conchetta area

We start off from the ‘sea in the city’, the relatively ‘new’ Darsena docklands, to cycle down the Naviglio Pavese towards the green residential area of ​​Cantalupa. The bars dotted along the Naviglio seem to flow quickly past our eyes, one after the other, as do the couples leisurely sipping drinks outside and admiring Leonardo's locks.

The shared-use path for cycles and pedestrians continues until just before the intersection with the external ring road, where viale Liguria meets viale Tibaldi, then the road opens up to light traffic, never getting too busy however as it’s still the Alzaia del Naviglio towpath!

Up as far as the Conchetta area the route is also suitable for families cycling with young bicyclers who, together with their parents and friends, head off to the parks further south of the city.

Along the route, from the centre to the gates of the city, you may come across a number of well-known restaurants and, with a small detour, you can scout out an area of Milan that retains a cool ‘60s vibe with pubs, ice cream parlours and historical trattorias - all very easy-going, with excellent prices and more of a countryside feel.

From Chiesa Rossa to Pavia

The fittest of the pack, maybe not satisfied with cycling for a mere kilometre and a half, can continue along the Naviglio as far as ​​Chiesa Rossa and opt to stop off for refreshments in the park or just enjoy a reading at the local library, constructed on the remains of an agricultural establishment from the sixties and an ancient Roman settlement.

If the weather’s good, your bike’s rolling and you’re feeling on top form…then why not push on as far as the city of Pavia which is connected from Assago by a cycle path - but maybe we’ll leave this to the true athletes!