Enjoy your cruise on the Naviglio Grande from Boffalora: the best way to know the luxuriant and flourishing vegetation that surrounds Milan. This itinerary allows you to discover fascinating places and landscapes such as the imposing Canonica of Bernate Ticino or the scenic staircase of Villa Clerici in Castelletto di Cuggiono.
Start your cruise from Naviglio Grande pass through historic Borgo of Boffalora above the Ticino, get in touch with green and luxuriant vegetation typical of this area, this will surround you throughout your journey. Going up the canal after a few minutes, you find the famous and spectacular patrician villas in Cassinetta di Lugagnano (the most beautiful villages in Italy) and Robecco sul Naviglio. During the tour, you can admire “Delizia Villas”, authentic jewels of rural architecture used by illustrious families as a holiday resort and as an elegant base for carrying out checks on their possessions.
Continuing along this stretch of Naviglio Grande, you see Bridge of Nuovo di Magenta, Pontevecchio di Magenta and Bernate Ticino with the splendid Agostiniana Canonica. But it is in Castelletto di Cuggiono, at Villa Clerici, one of the most luxurious villas in the whole of Milan, that you can admire the majestic staircase from the canal, originally the main entrance to the building.
Among the historic buildings that meet, there are more villas of Delizia including Villa Gambotto Negri, with a sumptuous entrance; Villa Visconti Castiglione Maniera, colored yellow and characterized by a double garden on three floors; Villa Beolco-Negri, adjacent to the Cassinetta bridge, Casa Spirito, particular for the opening, at regular intervals, of its numerous windows that mark the facade and Villa Castiglioni-Nai-Bossi.
Did you know that …?
There are several curiosities that can be found on the canals, here are some:
1) The villa of Delizia was an architectural genre particularly widespread among the nobility starting from the 16th century. These were suburban residences, where the nobles retreated during their holidays.
In the Milanese area, the Ville di Delizia developed along the path of the two canals, Grande and Martesana or towards the Brianza countryside such as the famous Royal Villa of Monza.
2) Prestigious families including the Trivulzio, Visconti, Mantegazza and Castiglioni families built their villas in this area and only here did they find time to regenerate body and mind from city life.
4) The mill of the Pazza Biraga, visible near Cassinetta, is of fifteenth-century origin and is considered the oldest functioning mill in the Navigli circle, in almost intact conditions.
5) Boffalora Sopra Ticino is crossed in its central part by the Naviglio Grande which divides the town into the upper and lower part
6) The name “Castelletto” (of Cuggiono) derives from the castle owned by the Clerici family, located on the banks of the Naviglio Grande, on a strategic hill probably established for military purposes since the Roman domination.