An itinerary in Navigli, Solari and Ticinese

Time needed: 2 evenings

Navigli Milan: what to see and what to do

Welcome to the capital of movida of Milan! I am not afraid to say this, because everybody would agree with me on this point: the Navigli area is by far the most lively neighbourhood at night in Milan. It hosts hundreds of cafes, bars, restaurant and cocktail bars and this is the reason why it might sometimes feel intimidating.

La nuova Darsena, Milano

Naviglio Grande is the heart of the nightlife scene and the mood of the vecchia Milano (mainly because of the courtyards called case a ringhiera and the cute little Vicolo dei Lavandai). Corso di Porta Ticinese is home to so many shops of any kind ranging from vintage to street style.

Via Conchetta and Via Torricelli are two small side streets that well represents the underground culture of Milano. Here you can find two of our favourite spots to hang out for a night out with friends: Brutto Anatroccolo is a tavern that opens at 21:03 (yes, they wont let you in before those 03 minutes) where you can eat Italian food in a very casual environment surrounded by local students and workers. Frizzi e Lazzi is an old school bar to start or end the night during a summer evening: its garden is enclosed in a lovely typical milanese courtyard and it is one of the few open-air bars in town. Just a few steps from here you will find Cox18. It is a squat where there is a bookstore and many cool (mainly music-related) events are organized. On the wall of Cox18 there is an amazing street-art painting by Blue.

Are you looking for a fancy place to impress your date? We can light-heartedly suggest you go and have a drink at Carlo e Camilla in Segheria. Another option would be to go to the newly renovated Darsena area where there are many docks and bars where you can observe the sunset on the artificial pond.

ITER cocktail bar, Milano

Trying to cross in between Naviglio Pavese and Naviglio Grande there is a whole world and it is very easy to get lost in this residential area that nevertheless hosts some interesting spots in via Fusetti and via Argelati. Here you can find some of the best places for a drink in the area: ITER, MAG and Rita.

Cox18, centro sociale che spesso organizza serate davvero cool oppure potete bere una delle 30 birre alla spina offerte tutti i giorni da la Belle Alliance.

Legend has it that the navigli (channels) in Milano were realized thanks to the intervention of Leonardo da Vinci who was not only a groundbreaking artist, but also an inventive engineer.

The Navigli area used to be a port for the city of Milano and the channels connected the town with the rest of the nearby regions. This also meant that most of the raw materials and the food also travelled on water until the beginning of the 20th century. For example, the rocks that were used to build Duomo di Milano arrived into town through these channels.

What we can see today is just a small part of the network that existed until the 20s. Before the channels were transformed into streets for the cars they used to spread more deeply into the centre toward Piazza del Duomo. It is still possible to find the hints of this watery past in the names of some streets such as via Molino delle Armi. Check this link where you can see some vintage photoes.

Il Naviglio grande di Milano al tramonto
Naviglio Grande, Milano

Via Vigevano is the street that runs parallel to the Naviglio Grande and that leads to Porta Genova station. This street is a good place to have a snack to start your night in the Navigli nightlife mecca since it has a wide offer of casual dining restaurants. Via Corsico, instead, is the home of some of the allegedly best cocktail bars in the area: UGO and Elita cocktail bar (not my favourite one, though).

Le scale che portano alle sale del MUDEC - museo delle culture
Mudec, Milano

Behind the station, there is the so-called zona Tortona. You might have heard this name because it is one of the most lively areas during Fuorisalone, as many branded events take place here. It used to be a poor working class district in the past and it still keeps that run-down (yet fascinating) look during the rest of the year. Nevertheless, gentrification already changed a lot how this area looked just 10 years ago.

In zona Tortona there is MUDEC – Museo delle culture di Milano. I think this is one of the best museums in town for the temporary exhibitions about contemporary artists organized here, the architecture of the museum itself and the interesting permanent exhibition.

In via Savona there is also my favourite ice-cream place in town Gusto 17 and the cute Morna: a bar with a with on… the local bowl-field (every italian grandpa used to play bowls)!

Don’t miss them.

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Navigli Milan: how to get here

The best Metro stop to reach the Navigli Area is Porta Genova (green line). If you are heading to via Solari better to get off at Sant’Agostino (green line). If the area near Conciliazione is your destination, choose the stop Conciliazione (red line).

Come here if…

… you feel like having a fun night out or you are looking for the latest trends in terms of cocktails and youth culture.

To explore the other neighbourhoods of Milan, click here.