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Naviglio Grande, Milan

4.5
#7 of 56 in Parks in Milan
The Naviglio Grande is a canal in Lombardy, northern Italy, joining the Ticino river near Tornavento (23 km south of Sesto Calende) to the Porta Ticinese dock, also known as the Darsena, in Milan. It drops 34 m over 49.9 km. It varies in width from 22 m to 50 m from Tornavento to Abbiategrasso, dropping to 15 m between there and Milan. Initially carries 63 m³ per second, 116 outlets take water to irrigate 500 square kilometres leaving the canal 12 m wide and carrying 12 m³ per second as it enters the dock.HistoryThe Naviglio Grande was the most important of the Milan “navigli”. Probably originating as a ditch dug in 1157 between Abbiategrasso and Landriano as a defense against Frederick Barbarossa, it was one of the largest post-medieval engineering projects, allowing development of commerce, transport and agriculture.In 1177, construction began near Tornavento, but problems stopped work almost immediately. In 1179 however, a dam was constructed and water from the Ticino was directed towards Turbigo, Castelletto di Cuggiono, Bernate and Boffalora reaching Gaggiano in 1233. This 30 km section, the “Navigium de Gazano” took over 50 years to dig by hand using only pickaxe and shovel. Prisoners from Turbigo were put to work in 1239 to increase the carrying capacity of the canal. Naviglio Grande is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our , custom trip planner Edition.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
165 reviews
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  • We had no idea that there was an extensive canal system running through Milan Beautiful waterways lined with good value restaurants and bars  more »
  • This place will make your trip/evening extra special. My husband and I were lucky enough to to get a reservation for this true pearl of Milano. For a Tuscan restaurant in Milan, we were surprised...  more »
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