There is no visit to Milan without a Navigli walking-tour. Whether you're in a couple or not, Milan's waterways are the #placetobe to bring out the hidden romanticism of Milano.

 

The canals give this part of the city a kind of "Venice effect". They are the perfect place to enjoy a nice walk, leaving the city traffic behind. On a gastronomic side, the "Navigli" offer a top level experience ranging from the most bohemian taverns ("Trattorie" and "Osterie") to some fine dining restaurant, where you can indulge in exquisite food and enjoy a candlelight evening. And let's not forget gourmet breakfasts and the classic aperitivo.

 

Here's our cultural/culinary itinerary to enjoy the best of what Navigli can offer.

 

 

Breakfast at Gattullo

The most chic place to have breakfast in the Navigli area is certainly Pasticceria Gattullo in Porta Lodovica. With its small tables outside and its French pastry aesthetics with large chandeliers and shop windows full of beautiful delicacy, we are sure that eating your first meal of the day at Gattullo's will make you feel like you are inside a movie. It's no wonder, then, that for Lombardy Region it's a historic venue, where you can rediscover the spirit of the past times. We suggest you try the cappuccino with thick and compact foam and combine it with a dessert of their artisanal production; for us the blueberry brioche is a must!

Mini-Cruise through Navigli

The mini-cruise through Navigli, lasting about two hours, is an unmissable experience to see the city from a new perspective.

The boat will take you to some historical stretches of the Navigli. 

You will be able to admire some hidden and picturesque gems such as the Vicolo dei Lavandai (Washerman Lane), the most famous of the Milanese laundry spots, active until the end of the Fifties, up to the Double Church of San Cristoforo, named "double", because the Romanesque architectural core was later remodeled in the fourteenth century.

The final stop is the Darsena, the historic port of interchange of the city of Milan until the seventies of the twentieth century, redeveloped for Expo 2015, when it became one of the hotspots of nightlife.

A journey between past, present and future to discover the transformations from an unconventional point of view.

 

 

Lunch at Il Brutto Anatroccolo

If you want to eat what the classic Milanese grandmother cooks on Sunday lunch, Il Brutto Anatroccolo ("The ugly duckling") is the right place for you to enjoy the traditional Milanese cuisine. Here, you can find the classic Milanese "cotoletta" (cutlet) to be paired with plenty of house wine, all for less than 20 €.  A homely place, where you can find old and young Milanese people immersed in a card game. Blend in, feel like a local!

Let's discover courtyards in the afternoon

Did you know that one of the most charming places in Milan can be experienced for free? We are talking about the courtyards with the urban-bucolic charm of the houses that overlook the Navigli. Taking a look at them, you'll have the feeling of being in another time: the typical "case a ringhiera" ("railing houses" historically working class housing) covered with centenary wisteria, American vine, ivy and plumbago.

Following one courtyard after the other, almost creating a small village enclosed by walls that does not seem to belong completely to our present times.

Aperitivo "da Rita"

Rita & Cocktail is a real landmark for the drinking culture in Milano. The locals simply say go "da Rita", just to show you the familiarity with this place, which is almost like a welcoming friend ready to console you and welcome you in moments of discomfort. Gin Zen (freshly crushed ginger, gin, lime and soda, crushed ice) is one of the most iconic drinks in town and was invented here. At the aperitif, expect a refined selection of finger-food made of high quality meat including the Hamburgers of the famous butcher Masseroni and Coca-Cola chicken wings, lime and chili pepper. In short, Milano at aperitivo time is called Rita.

Dinner at Al Pont de Ferr

It is so called because you get there walking across an iron bridge, which in Milanese dialect ("Pont de Ferr") sounds just like the name of this restaurant with its delicious cuisine, but with a street-food attitude. Among the dishes not to be missed are pigeon risotto and egg with caviar. Refined palates, this is the place for you.