Monday, 28 May 2012
Giro dei Navigli (Canals of Milan) - 2
This time I will focus on the Naviglio Martesana - the canal which starts from near Milan's Central Station and heads north-west towards Bergamo and Lecco. This is a little bit out of my zone as it is to the North of the city. It takes around half an hour to cycle to the start of the canal.
If there's one thing I also know about the people in that part of Milan it is that they like their sport. Lots of people are out rollerblading, playing football, running and cycling - people of all shapes, sizes and ages are active. The whole family may be out cycling, including the 3-year-old on stabilisers. If you are too young to ride a bike you end up either going on a special child's seat attached to your parent's bike, or being seated in a specially constructed carriage that is attached to the front or back of your parent's bike. People learn about cycling at an early age here!
The other thing that people are into - at least the authorities seem to tolerate it is graffiti. There is lots of it here. This stuff would give Banksy a run for his money. There are all kinds of designs and slogans - Tags, declarations of love, and more and more with these difficult economic times, political statements. I don't know alot about TAV and Bossi, but it seems like they are not well liked in Milan if the graffitti is anything to go by!
Before reaching Cassano there is a series of rather picturesque villages - Cernusco sul Naviglio, which has a forest and picnic site, and then there's Gorgonzola. And don't think of finding any cheese in Gorgonzola. It's produced in Piedmont nowadays. Nevertheless Gorgonzola is a pleasant village with a 16th Century church. Some say that a piece of cheese was left in the church and that is how the town got its name. I guess no one will be eating that mouldy cheese any time soon!
Then when you're done you can either ride back, to Milan, or skip across to the nearby train station where you can be whisked back to the city.