July 6, 2018
The Navigli district is one of the city’s most vital areas, replete with artists’ workshops and creative studios. The triangle-shaped neighborhood is bounded by the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese, at the head of which lies the Porta Ticinese dock. The district is one of the centres of Milan’s nightlife, its canals surrounded by different types of cafés, restaurants, bars, design shops, art galleries etc. The centrepiece of the neighbourhood is the Darsena marina, dating back to the beginning of the 17th century.
The construction of the Navigli canals and waterways spanned seven centuries. They were built to connect the city to Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, the Ticino and Po rivers as well as with Switzerland, Northern Europe as well as the sea. The Navigli canals include Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese, Naviglio Martesana, Naviglio di Paderno and Naviglio di Bereguardo.
The Naviglio Grande was begun in the XII century, then augmented with a system of dams designed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the XV century. The Naviglio della Martesana was built in the middle of the 15th century, then towards the end of the 15th century, da Vinci designed a canal system to connect Lake Como to Milan. Towards the second half of the XIX century, the Navigli diminished in importance as trains gained increasing importance as a means of transport.
The Ticinese district extends along the Via Torino and corso di Porta Ticinese axis and is one of the oldest in Milan, owing its name to the eponymous city gate. A rich historical and cultural heritage is present in the area, including a Roman circus, amphitheatre, the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Sant’Eustorgio, and the Diocesan Museum, revealing a stratified urban fabric where the ancient city and contemporary style meet and live side by side. The neighborhood is a very popular evening meeting place for young people, with an enormous choice of bars, cafes and restaurants.
The 4th century Basilica di San Lorenzo is considered to be one of the oldest buildings in the city. The foundations of the church were made of huge blocks taken from the nearby amphitheatre and other Roman sites, and the interior decorated in marble and mosaics. The church was rebuilt in the 11th and again in the 16th centuries, then renovated in the 1930s. The rectangular portal is from the Roman era, while the dome was added in the 16th century. Sant Eustorgio is one of the oldest churches in Milan, founded in the 4th century, and rebuilt in the 19th century. It originally housed the relics of the Three Kings, and from the 13th century, the church became the main location for the Dominican Order in Milan.
More on the city’s general history. By the 5th century A.D., Milan declined in stature, given the ongoing warfare and general tumult it was subjected to. The imperial residence was moved to Ravenna when the city was besieged by the Visigoths at the beginning of the 5th century. The Huns sacked the city in the middle of the 5th century, then in the middle of the 6th, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed city during the Gothic War against Byzantium. Several decades later, the Lombards vanquished the Byzantines and conquered Milan. Lastly, in 774 A.D., Milan surrendered to Charlemagne and the Franks.
(Narrative excerpted from Wikipedia, wheretogowhattosee.com, www.turismo.milano.it and news.milanocard.it)