The Navigli Neighborhood of Milan


Milan: City of Water — I Navigli

Sunday, April 25, 2021

11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Central Daylight Savings Time
Presented in English


Milan is a city that developed around its canals and waterways. During this tour, we’ll visit the neighborhood that still preserves the ancient watery spirit of the city: I Navigli. Along the road that takes you to Ticinum (Pavia), we’ll see the paleo-Christian basilica of San Lorenzo, with its beautiful portico of 16 Roman columns from the 1st century A.D. We’ll stop at Sant’Eustorgio, the meeting place of the first Christian community in Milan and famous for its relics of the three kings. We’ll pass through the medieval Spanish gates and arrive at the Darsena, the port that was the center of international exchange and commerce. From there we can admire the two canals that are still open, the Naviglio Grande and the Pavese. Their construction involved politicians, engineers, architects and common people over various periods. We’ll walk along the canals and relive the history of this quarter that, from its beginnings as a farming village outside the city walls, has become one of the liveliest places in the city.

About Our Guides:


Mirella Maestri

I am Mirella. I was born and raised in Piedmont, in the north of Italy. To me, it’s still one of the most beautiful places on earth. I moved to Milan almost 20 years ago. I have a degree in archaeology and post-graduate specialization in Medieval archaeology. For many years I worked in field archaeology and as a tour guide in both Piedmont and Milan.

Since 2018, I have also been working as a teacher of Italian as a foreign language after obtaining the DITALS certification. I am a life enthusiast, a people person and I love being the bridge between my culture and others. My passions are history, art, languages, travels, food and … fashion.


Debora Zanotti

I was born and raised in Monza, a nice city near Milan. I graduated in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation and studied Chinese and English language and culture. A passion for travel has allowed me to explore art and history and to start a career as a tour guide in Milan. I love this city and its atmosphere. I collaborate with various cultural associations and Milanese tour operators.

Two years ago, I gained the DITALS I certification for teaching Italian to adults given by the University for Foreigners of Siena. I currently teach Italian to foreigners, offering the Italian language in the most entertaining way possible. I like to talk about art, food, politics and cultures with my students.

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Please register by April 24, 2021 • Questions or concerns? email


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