Milan, Italy – canal district part 2 – go off the beaten path!
When visiting Milan, Italy you can still visit a portion of the city where there are two canals; the area is called Navigli and is host to an interesting bohemian vibe. From the canal area you can walk over a few blocks to see an old city gate, Porta Ticinese, the original gate was built in the 16th century and replaced in the 19th century.
From the old city gate, make your way through the intersection and up Corso di Porta Ticinese, a busy street full of shops. You will quickly come to a small park and plaza with the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio which is an interesting building and a must-see location for those who love art and architecture
Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio is a major pilgrimage site as it is said to hold the tomb of the Three Kings. The church dates back to the 4th century but with reconstruction over the centuries, for example it has a 19th century façade. After walking through the church, admiring the frescos, paintings, chapels, and the famous tomb make sure you go behind the apse and visit the Portinari Chapel (there is a small entrance fee for this chapel).
The Portinari Chapel is gorgeous, with 14th century frescos, an unusual rainbow colored dome, and a striking marble sepulcher (tomb). The Portinari Chapel was commissioned by a nobleman as a family chapel and mortuary for the relics of Saint Peter of Verona. The Dominican of Sant’Eustorgio and their convent held the Milan inquisition since 1230, and therefore the patron saint of inquisitors, Saint Peter of Verona, was important to them. The frescos along the walls depict scenes from the saint’s life. The elaborately carved marble tomb in the center of the chapel was made by a pupil of Giovanni Pisano, the famous Italian sculptor who is mostly known for his work on the façade of the Siena Cathedral and the pulpit of Pisa Cathedral.
How to get to Milan’s canal district by metro:
From Milan Central train station hop on the metro and take Green line towards Abbiategrasso and get off at “P.TA Genova FS” (7 stops from the main train station). The Porta Genova FS metro stop is by another train station, but from there you walk down Via Casale to the canal or walk down the main street of Via Vigevano.
If you choose to walk from the Duomo to the canal district you can, it might take about 45 minutes without stopping along the way. From the end of the Piazza del Duomo (with the large monument with all the lions on it) walk down Via Torino and then turn down Corso di Porta Ticinese (when you see Hotel Ariston on the corner). This road will lead you down to an old city gate which is just blocks away from the canals.