On the trail of the Naviglio Piccolo
A historical territory of Lombardy north-east of Milan, La Martesana originally coincided with present-day Brianza. Today, it corresponds to the area crossed by the Naviglio della Martesana, or Naviglio Piccolo, a canal that you can reach by catching the M2 metro line or, from outside the city centre, via the Milan-Treviglio railway line.
Starting from Via Melchiorre Gioia, on foot or by bicycle, you will come across the 15th-century Cassina de Pomm. Continuing among mallards, nutria and grey herons, you can admire a series of historic villas built between the 16th and 19th centuries by the lords of the area who spent the summer there escaping the heat, such as those built in Cernusco sul Naviglio.
Before leaving Milan, don’t miss the Church of Santa Maria Rossa in Crescenzago. Brugherio is home to the small temple of San Lucio in Moncucco, Villa Sormani-Andreani, from which Paolo Andreani made the first balloon flight in Italy, the municipal park of Villa Fiorita and the park of Increa, which features an artificial lake. In Vaprio d’Adda, you can admire Villa Castelbarco and Villa Melzi, where Leonardo da Vinci stayed to study the channelling of water in the Milan area. In Capriate San Gervasio, we recommend visiting the village of Crespi d’Adda, a perfectly preserved example of a working-class village.