Touring Milan Italy - Navigli And Porta Romana

What should we visit in and near the Navigli And Porta Romana districts?...

We hope that you are enjoying our series of articles and guest articles on Italian tourist attractions, covering the entire country except for its major cities. In a sense we have left the best for last. We will describe what to see in Italy’s great cities neighborhood by neighborhood. You may not realize it, but Milan is divided into 8 districts. And each and every one of these districts boasts its own sightseeing attractions. If you have time, visit them all. In any case, read these articles to help plan your trip to Europe's fashion capital. You may be in for some real surprises.

The Navigli district of southwestern Milan, known as the Venice of Lombardy, is built around an ancient canal system that linked Milan to the lakes and cities to the north. The original locks were designed by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. Thanks to this system landlocked Milan was once a relatively important port. Today, this area is one of liveliest in Milan; bursting with art galleries, boutiques, coffee houses, and restaurants. As you walk towards the dockyard (Darsena) you’ll get a good view of the charming Vicolo dei Lavandai (Washers' Alley) on the opposite side of the canal. The district hosts an antiques fair on the last Sunday of the month.

Vicolo dei Lavandai, Navigli Milan

Vicolo dei Lavandai, Navigli Milan

Porta Ticinese is a gate at the entrance to the Navigli district. It was part of the Twelfth Century walls of the city, situated was on the Roman road joining Milan to Pavia almost directly south from Milan. At the onset of Nineteenth Century it was rebuilt to celebrate Napoleon’s victory in the battle of Marengo. While never completed, this edifice is considered a major example of neoclassical architecture in Milan.

The Porta Romana district of southeastern Milan owes its name to a city gate relocated in the Twelfth and the Sixteenth Centuries. This was Milan’s most impressive gate. Main street (Corso di Porto Romana) sights include the Seventeenth Century Palazzo Acerbi, built for a senator and said to house the devil and the Baroque Seventeenth Century Palazzo Annoni. The two noble (?) palace owners were constantly competing for the fanciest decorations. Take a look at the nearby Casa Bettoni. Perhaps its owners also wanted to keep up with the Jones. Nearby is the famous Teatro Carcano built in the very early years of the Nineteenth Century. Unfortunately very little remains of the original edifice.

Teatro Carcano, Milan Italy

Teatro Carcano, Milan Italy

The green in the district center belongs to Parco Ravizza, a pretty English Style Garden, named for Alessandrina Ravizza, a Nineteenth Century feminist. You might want to avoid the park at night. Close by is Università Bocconi, said to be Italy’s most respected economics and business university. It attracts almost 13 thousand students from all over the world.

And wherever you go and whatever you do, check out the fine Lombardy or other Italian wines.

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About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.

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