Milaan | Off the beaten tracks: Navigli

Milan is best known for its impressive buildings like the Duomo. But how fun is it to skip the tourist attractions and explore a whole different area?

So that’s exactly what my boyfriend and I did when we spent a weekend in Milan last summer. Exploring off the beaten track! Exactly the way we like it:) Besides that we both are absolutely no fans of being surrounded by mass-tourism.

Navigli

Navigli
Therefore we booked a room at the NHow hotel in the Navigli area. This neighbourhood -named after the many channels (navigli) that used to be here- lies south of the historic centre. Of the once 150 km. long network there are now 3 channels left. Strolling along these channels is a treat. Both sides are packed with shops and restaurants. Not hipster restaurants, but authentic Italian restaurants with dark wooden furniture where the terraces are filled with people until late in the evening.

Navigli 2

By no means all buildings are in good state and that’s exactly what’s charming about this neighbourhood. Many artists and other creative people are based here. This is reflected in the streets through galleries, fashion designer shops and street art in many places. We have discovered some amazing spots in Navigli that I’d love to share with you.

Sugar cocktail therapy

#Sugar cocktail therapy
Through the app Spotted by Locals we found this ‘hidden’ cocktail bar in the middle of a parking space. You really have to know how to find this place and therefore it’s very popular with the locals. They serve the most delicious tropical cocktails while samba music is playing through the speakers. Also for small bites such as anti-pasti, burgers and sandwiches you’ve come to the right place.

#Al Bicchiere
At Al Bicchiere you can buy high quality Italian olive oil. This is the real deal. The store is filled with big barrels of olive oil that each have their own wonderful smell and taste. They sell bottles in different sizes that you can fill with the oil of your choice. Honestly, you should not leave this store without buying a bottle of olive oil :)

Al Fresco

#Al Fresco
A bit further away from the canals you’ll find the slightly posh restaurant Al Fesco. The beautiful garden with flowers and plants seem like a mini park. They grow their own herbs in baskets in the garden. Their service is excellent and the food is amazing! Since it’s opening -almost one year ago-, Al Fresco is fully booked every evening. So make sure you book a table if you want to go here!

Navigli nightlife

#Via Casale
At night the area around the canals comes to life. The vibe is bubbly and the streetlights create a romantic atmosphere. Besides delicious wining & dining you can also hit the dance-floor in this area. The side streets are packed with small dancings. We danced the night away in various clubs in Via Casale street and made new Italian friends in no-time. The DJ’s in the clubs play a large selection of music styles. From old-school to the latest hits. Bring your dancing shoes:)

Besides these cool spots there is of course so much more to experience. Explore, stroll through the streets, be amazed by what comes your way and ask the locals for must-go’s. Than you will always end up at the coolest places.

 ♥
Manon

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