Length 5 km (3.2 miles), terrain: flat
Milano running routes:
Milan Centro Storico old town loop
Milan Brera/Parco Sempione route
Milan Navigli canal route
Milan Navigli Grande
For more running routes see the route list.
I already wrote up a route taking you from the city center (Duomo) to the old harbor neighborhood called the Navigli. Here's an extension that takes you further out Naviglio Grande, the main canal linking Milan to the outside world.
The Navigli neighborhood has come into its own, as the coolest area for nightlife in town, and more hotels have opened up there. So if you're staying in the area, here's a simple route following the canal westwards.
|Naviglio Grande in the early evening|
|Courtyard along the Naviglio|
The Naviglio Grande Route
This route overlaps a bit of the Navigli route, starting at Darsena harbor at the beginning of the canal. Another canal, Naviglio Pavese, exits Darsena to the south.
|Start of the run. Run along the right side.|
Standing there, with the harbor basin of Darsena behind you, and Alzaia Naviglio Grande stretching westwards next to the canal, start running.
The first 700-meter section of the canal is the most scenic, lined by the restaurants and bars that give the Navigli neighborhood its reputation for lively waterside evenings.
You'll run past two little foot-bridges that cross the canal. Then you'll come to a car-and-tram bridge at the 700-meter mark. There is a pedestrian path that goes under the bridge, but that was closed when I ran it last week due to the reconstruction of the canal's side-walls. In fact, the whole next kilometer of the canal was a construction site, with barriers narrowing the street for quite a while.
NOTE: The canal has been emptied of water during the reconstruction!
|The canal, missing its water!|
The neighborhood becomes more industrial here. At about 1.4 kilometers, you'll come to a modern car bridge which passes overhead, followed by a steel railroad bridge. The first of several rowing clubs is located just before the railroad bridge.
|Trail narrows along the construction|
You'll probably notice a lot more runners around this area: it's a fairly popular running trail, due to the athletes from the rowing clubs located just ahead. On nice evenings, (and when there is water in the canal!) you'll pass club boats along the canal.
|St. Christoforo during an evening run|
You'll see another big freeway overpass ahead of you, with a couple of high-rise buildings to the left, at the 2.5-km mark. This is our turn-around spot. This is where we head back to the harbor. (Of course, there is nothing stopping you from continuing westwards along the same trail. Later, you'll come to some canal-side parkland, at Parco Pozzi, and there are even fields across the canal.)