The Darsena waterfront in Milano is a popular nightlife hotspot where the locals and visitors get together with friends to drink or dine in the countless vibrant venues concentrated around the dock.
Few people know that Milano has a legacy of canals yet, until the 1950s, it was the 13th main cargo port in Italy and the 3rd largest for quantity of shipment flow. All these comings and goings were concentrated in the Darsena docklands, the inlet where the Naviglio Pavese and the Naviglio Grande meet.
When the shipping trade in Milano eventually declined, the Darsena became one of the city’s go-to nightlife districts: its evocative waterfront and the banks of the adjacent Navigli canals have become popular haunts with countless music venues, restaurants, pubs, traditional hostelries, plus, vintage markets and antique fairs on the weekends.
Following a renovation project in 2015, the dockland area is now a pleasant pedestrian haven with its infinite eateries and charming vistas. The local Urban Market located here has indoor and outdoor stalls where you can taste, or purchase, fresh high-quality food or grab a drink-with-a-view overlooking the dockside, from dawn until dusk.
Then you could opt for a bicycle ride, as the Darsena is the ideal place to set off from on a trip along the banks of the Navigli, to the outlying rural areas: click here for the cycling itineraries.
Or maybe you prefer a leisurely water boat tour to discover the Darsena and the Navigli from a different and fascinating viewpoint: click here for details of the itineraries available.
If you want to explore the Navigli area, click here.
Around the area you can admire some of Milano’s most beautiful and ancient churches, such as the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio and the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, or maybe you’d just like to take some time out to browse the quirky shops along Corso di Porta Ticinese.