Tour delle Delizie: Milan’s Navigli and the memory of water
Tour delle Delizie is a journey through the memories of Milan, who some experts say is named after the waters it used to be surrounded by (“place between rivers”). Since the 12th century, such abundant water resources were “organized” in a system of irrigation canals and waterways: the Navigli.
On the tour, you go along one of the most evocative parts of Naviglio Grande, which is completely immersed in vegetation.
And on top of enjoying the view – which includes the patrician villas of Cassinetta of Lugagnano and Robecco sul Naviglio, the Ponte Nuovo di Magenta, the Canonica Agostiniana di Bernate Ticino, and Villa Clerici in Castelletto di Cuggiono – you can imagine these surroundings like Bonvesin de la Riva once saw them. The Milanese author lived between the 13th and 14th centuries, and in 1288 wrote a famous essay titled “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.