Milan by Bike

Milan by bike

Milan by bike @omarpanc

In the words of the famous Fifties song, "Ma dove vai bellezza in bicicletta, così di fretta pedalando con ardor"… out and about in Milan, to discover its greener, more pastoral aspect.

Bicycles are sustainable, flexible and cheap, so they can be an interesting alternative way of discovering the sights of Milan. What is more, if you don't have your own wheels and don't want to join a guided tour (there is an interesting one along the Navigli canals organised by Neiade), you could use BikeMi, a low-cost bike sharing service, created by the Municipality of Milan and ATM, to give you freedom of movement. The hire points can be found in various points of the city. One of them is in Piazza Duomo, starting point for this itinerary. After visiting the cathedral and its panoramic terraces, you take your bike and pedal along Via Torino, where you can stop at the Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro, a masterpiece by Bramante, famous for the false perspective offered by its trompe l'oeil apse.

The itinerary continues with relaxed pedalling – unless you get distracted by the countless boutiques and shop windows along the street – up to the Colonne di San Lorenzo, a meeting place for the young crowd, but also a corner of history, where we can see rare Roman remains of Imperial Milan, with their fascinating Corinthian capitals and the large Basilica of paleochristian origin. Before continuing, enjoy a refreshing and delicious pause at Grom, slightly further on in Corso di Porta Ticinese 51, to enjoy the ice cream flavours of the month. Then back in the saddle, heading for the Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio which, tradition has it, conserves the relics of the Three Wise Men. From here it is just a few minutes to the Darsena, where the Naviglio Grande cycle track begins. To ride along the Alzaia (towpath) is to step back into history, to the old Milan of waterways that so fascinated Leonardo da Vinci and which were used in building the Cathedral – always truly exciting. Here are picturesque views to be discovered, for example from Vicolo dei Lavandai, where you can still see some ancient outdoor washhouses, where Milan women brought their washing up to the Fifties. Or from the little double-nave church of San Cristoforo, patron saint of pilgrims and travellers, to whom is dedicated a festival on 25th July, which has been celebrated since the days of the Visconti (1428).  Continuing along the route, you can get as far as the picturesque village of Gaggiano, with its pastel-coloured houses. Or instead, you could leave your bike at Alzaia Naviglio Grande 4 and get on board a boat sailing the Conche line. But that's another story altogether…

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