The “Milano città d’acqua” exhibition – at Palazzo Morando until February 14th, 2016 – is dedicated to the Lombard city’s canals, rivers, millraces, torrents – a fine web of waterways that has played an important role in the history of this metropolis.
On display, you will find one hundred and fifty photographs, maps, and unpublished documents that together compose the portrait of a city that was always deeply connected to water – so much so that some say its historical name, “Mediolanum”, means “place among waterways”.
In 1288, local writer Bonvesin de la Riva published an interesting analysis in his “De magnalibus urbis Mediolani” (The wonders of Milan):
“Can you find swamps or putrid waters, corrupting the air with their fog or smell? No, all you see are limpid springs and fertile rivers. Inside the city, the water is alive, natural, incredibly fit for men to drink, clean and healthy, ready at hand, never scarce even during the dry seasons, and so abundant that almost every barely decent house has a live source of water.”
“Through a careful, if not completely thorough inquiry, I have ascertained that over six thousand sources of water provide citizens with fresh water every day. In many cases, the water is almost tasty, and so light that it will quickly be drunk out of any wood container or glass cruet where it may have been poured.”
“No other city in the world is known or believed to have such wealth and abundance of water sources.”