The Darsena – harbour – is at the point where the Naviglio Pavese and Naviglio Grande canals meet. It was once an important node for water-borne transport and trade. Located near Porta Ticinese, it occupies the space in which the Laghetto di Sant’Eustorgio was once located, receiving its names from the nearby basilica. Furthermore, the Darsena, once connected to the circle of the Navigli, constituted the joining ring with a water circuit, which was for centuries the main channel of supplies, transportation, and commercial traffic in the city. Today it is the hub of the Navigli neighbourhood, with music locales, restaurants, pubs, traditional osterie, little markets, and antique fairs on weekends.
The area of Porta Ticinese and Corso San Gottardo contained a neighbourhood founded in the 1600s that had a courtyard house. This type of building, still visible in some parts of the neighbourhood, is called a “banister house” because one entered into these houses through the galleries that are visible from the floors above the façades. The ground floor was usually occupied by stores and shops, especially by cheese makers, who used it to make and preserve their cheeses.