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Milan: cycling along the Navigli with Leonardo da Vinci

22 July 2022

3 minutes

Cycling along the Navigli is the green idea for getting into the surroundings from the heart of Milan: here are five itineraries that also take inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci.

Cycling along the five Navigli canals is a marvellous green way to leave the heart of the city into the surrounding area and its farmhouses, noble residences, historic abbeys, parks, rural landscapes and precious testimonies of Leonardo's work: here are five complete itineraries. The final stages of the Giro d'Italia will be hosted here.

2. Alzaia Naviglio Pavese

Leaving the centre of Milan, you can cycle as far as Pavia along the Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, where several historic inns and trattorias still retain the welcoming, friendly atmospheres of the past and serve traditional Lombard cuisine. From the dock of Darsena di Porta Ticinese, the cycle path crosses the green areas of Cantalupa, Conchetta and Chiesa Rossa, characterized by the locks - famous hydraulic works by Leonardo da Vinci - as far as Assago. We then continue towards the Renaissance Charterhouse of Pavia and the beautiful historic city centre - which is definitely worth a visit.

3. The Martesana

The Naviglio della Martesana was designed by Leonardo da Vinci and connects the city with the River Adda and Lake Como. The cycle path running along it entire length starts from Milan from the characteristic Ponte delle Gabelle, where tolls were once paid to enter the city. The route then passes through some delightful towns, such as Cernusco sul Naviglio, green parks with equipped picnic areas and aristocratic out of town mansions, including Villa Borromeo in Cassano d'Adda, the final destination. You can also continue to Trezzo d'Adda and Lecco to visit Leonardo Ecomuseum, the Leonardo ferry in Imbersago and the workers' village of Crespi d'Adda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don't miss the traditional Gorgonzola Festival in the town of the same name in September.