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Navigating the Navigli is one of the most authentic and proper way to get to know the real city of Milan. The Milanese waterways have existed since Roman times and have always played a fundamental role in the history and economy of the city - this itinerary allows to discover the secrets of this fascinating neighborhood up close. The canals, also called Leonardo's Navigli, due to the work that Leonardo Da Vinci have put into it by designing the dam system. The boat ride on the Navigli is a must among the things to do in Milan.
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Starting from Vaprio d’Adda, you can immediately see the Casa del Custode delle Acque, a station where merchants stopped to pay the duty imposed by local governments. After a few minutes, you will come across one of the most important villas located along this stretch of water, “Villa Melzi”, this splendid location with garden terraces had the privilege of hosting the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Proceeding along the waterway that crosses the Adda Nord Park by boat you will meet the historic Crespi Village, a famous ideal village for work, a small industrial fiefdom where the family castle was a symbol of both authority and benevolence, towards workers and their families
The Crespi Village is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The navigation then continues until reaching Consesa di Trezzo where there is a sanctuary built along a stream to obtain divine protection from any damage that could occur due to bad weather.
The church is very artistic, although not particularly large. It is also possible to see the large adjoining garden, cared for by the Carmelite friars.
The navigation on the Naviglio Martesana lasts about 45 minutes
Did you know that …?
There are several curiosities that can be found on the canals, here are some:
1) The Navigli Martesana is also called the Naviglio Piccolo
2) It was designed by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci; Carlo Borromeo and all the Milanese archbishops sailed it, the procession of Maria Anna of Habsburg and Archduke Ferdinando, and also Alessandro Manzoni, Cesare Beccaria, Parini and the Scaliger soprano Luigi Marchesi.
3) Elio e le Storie Tese talks about the Naviglio Martesana in his song “Zelig: la cunesiun del pulpacc”
4) The Sanctuary of Concesa is built under the fortress of Concesa, a spur of rock that dominates the Adda valley, from here the Naviglio Martesana is born.
Starting from Vaprio d’Adda, you can immediately see the Casa del Custode delle Acque, a station where merchants stopped to pay the duty imposed by local governments.