Naviglio Grande is the most ancient and important navigable canal of Milan; the canal flows from the Ticino river near Tornavento, a little town near Lonate Pozzolo to the Darsena of Porta Ticinese in Milan. It is 49.9 km long and its maximum depth is 3.80 m. In 1482 Ludovico il Moro asked Leonardo da Vinci to plan a system of locks in order to be able to sail from Como to Milan: a new connection with Switzerland allowed to implement the trade with the countries on the other side of the Alps.
This majestic engineering work represented the most important river junction of Northern Italy which allowed to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of Milan: coal, wine, meat, fish and wood were imported, while rice, linen, iron, salt and wheat were exported; more over the marble used to build Duomo was transported by boat. Nowadays, in between an historical small shop and ancient tenements with communal balconies, you can discover the best places to have a cocktail and the most exclusive houses.
A walk along Naviglio Grande is a must during whichever season: in summer time and winter time the “movida” is guaranteed. When the canal is not dry, you can take a very exciting boat ride.