Our guides will take you on an unusual walking tour through the greenest courtyards in the city, telling you the story of the Navigli and the past of Old Milan which is still reflected in the waters of the old canals. Listening to the poetic verses of Alda Merini, you can admire around the Navigli picturesque corners and secret courtyards, hidden between the old-fashioned Milanese houses built with central balustrades, a riot of flower-decked balconies and luxurious vegetation. At the end, a brief visit to one of the most surprising corners of the Alzaia Naviglio Grande awaits us: the Centro dell’Incisione (Engraving Centre) is here, with its presses and ink.

The pictoresque side of Navigli

Led by the stories of our guides, we walk through the most picturesque courtyards of the Milanese Navigli, even prettier in the flowering season and with its colorfull old-fashioned houses. The history of this piece of the city begins as early as the 12th century with the construction of the first navigable stretch of Milan’s network of waterways: for centuries Milan was a city of water, criss-crossed by rivers and canals regulated by ingenious technical solutions. Barges and boats would sail into the heart of the  city to carry goods and products, including the splendid blocks of marble of Candoglia needed to build the Duomo!

Navigli, from the typical old fashioned houses and the courtyards to the night life

Today, although it is famous for its nightlife, the Navigli area has preserved intact the charm of Old Milan, revealing to us places where time seems to have stood still: on the guided tour, we will go with the guides into a typical popular house, in Corso San Gottardo 18, one of the few remaining examples of an old “casèra”; we will go down a stretch of road along the Darsena, the old port of Milan, today marvellously redeveloped; we will evoke, reading them together, the lines of Alda Merini, the “poetess of the Navigli” to whom a small museum is dedicated in the former tobacconist’s in Via Magolfa; we will look on to a magical courtyard, in Alzaia Navigli Grande 4, the office of the Naviglio Grande Association, home to the studios and workshops of artists and craftsmen. And between Via Vigevano and Alzaia Naviglio Grande, there is a sequence of unusual corners, with courtyards, balustrade houses and ancient washing basics; it is impossible not to mention the famous Vicolo dei Lavandai, where for centuries the laundry of the Milanese was washed on the so-called “brellin”, today the name of a long-established restaurant.

The last stopping place on the tour led by our guides will be the courtyard of the Centro dell’Incisione: on the other side of the 17th century threshold and the lush vegetation which covers the old building, there is hidden a real hotbed of works of art, frozen in time by the tight grip of the presses. Here, Gigi Pedroli, an artist and founder of the Centre, still works on his creations and  skilfully teaches the ancient manual art of engraving.

From cost:
€ 15.00
About 120 minutes
Please arrive 10 minutes before the start at the meeting point indicated
Meeting point:
Piazza XXIV Maggio, on the corner of Corso San Gottardo

Stopping places:

Ripa di Porta Ticinese, Darsena, Alzaia Naviglio Grande, Vicolo dei Lavandai and Centro d’Incisione.

What awaits you:

  • Guided tour by Neiade Tour & Events by qualified guides in Italian, with a reading of some of Alda Merini’s poems
  • Radio headset to hear our guide better (guaranteed when 16 people are reached)
  • Neiade Membership Card and stamps to collect for a free guided tour
  • Small groups of a maximum fo25-30 people


The GREEN PASS (vaccination certificate) is NOT necessary as the whole tour takes place in the open air.

A few simple measures to keep everyone safe and to enjoy the tour with complete peace of mind

  • It is compulsory to wear a mask (possibly surgical or certified) that covers the nose and mouth
  • A distance of at least 1 metre between participants is compulsory, which is made easy by the use of our microphone system, made up of devices which are disinfected after each use and disposable headsets.
  • Sharing objects with other participants on the tour or with the guide is prohibited.
  • Participation of anyone showing symptoms of flu or quo is in quarantine is prohibited
  • If in the 14 days following the tour a participant were to show symptoms that can be attributed to a Covid infection, they must contact Neiade Tour & Events (info@neiade.com) to that all the other participants can be informed.

Our suppliers of the microphone system guarantee the disinfection of the radioguides after every use.

Do you want to live your private tour?


    You can cancel or move the booking up to the 10th day before the visit; up to the 5th day 50% of the price will be withheld; from the 4th day before the visit the booking is agreed as confirmed.

    If you need more information

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