Navigli District, Milan
Photograph: Marianna Cerini for Time Out
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Navigli District

Milan’s coolest neighbourhood is buzzing with old school charm, says local writer Marianna Cerini


Time Out says

What is Navigli known for?

Located in southwest Milan, Navigli is one of the city’s buzziest and most lively neighbourhoods. It gets its name from the two man-made canals (navigli in Italian) that cross it – the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese – which back in the days were used for the transport of goods and people as well as for irrigation.

Today, the area is filled with cool bars and art galleries, hip restaurants and vintage shops, not to mention Milan’s best flea and antiques market (held every last Sunday of the month). 

Is the neighbourhood worth visiting?

With its eclectic spirit, rich history and laidback vibes, Navigli is very much worth a visit – all the more so if you happen to come on the last Sunday of the month, when its flea-meets-antiques bazaar runs along the Naviglio Grande for almost 2 km. The district is also known for its nightlife, photogenic alleyways and architecture, including its palazzi di ringhiera (tenement buildings with shared balconies) typical of old Milan. 

When is it best to go?

Navigli gets extremely packed at the weekend, so weekdays are a better time to visit – unless you go especially for its antiques market, of course. The neighbourhood is a 30-minute walk from the Duomo, or a 20-minute ride away by subway, tram, or buses. 

Where should I eat when I’m there? 

So many options! Try Tenoha for ramen, Gloria for small plates and natural wines, and Osteria Conchetta for traditional Milanese dishes. Drink-wise, make sure to stop at Rita for their original cocktails list. 

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Alzaia Naviglio Grande
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