On October 26th I have visited Naviglio Grande open air antique market, one of the most romantic corner of Milan. This charming market is held only the last Sunday of each month, July and August excluded when the canal Grande turns into one massive shopping area, called the “Mercatone dell’Antiquariato” (Antique Market)
This ancient market was known as the “Artists center” where artists wanted to paint the old Naviglio canal and old buildings on the both bank of Naviglio. Even today this canal is used as an open air studio by many artists. Recently some fashion designers have opened their boutiques and studios along the canal.
Nothing has changed even today (October 26.2008) where it’s a great pleasure to take a walk , swinging among many open air market stands filled with old furniture seller, paintings hanging on the walls. From old fashion to contemporary pieces, furniture to artificial jewelers, everything can be found, it all depends what are you looking for. There are many real antiques, such as old armoires and tables. These can reach drastically in price; some are expensive for good reason, while others are shocking for the doubtful quality.
Usually you can find a fish market, a flower market and the fruit market all a the same corner of the canal. This area also has many restaurants and small coffee bars where if you come earlier in the morning you can start exploring this fascinating canal with a good cappuccino and brioches.
At lunch time you can try , as I did, a good tasteful plate of “risotto alla zucca” ( pumpkin risotto) and typical “Cotoletta Milanese” (Veal steak alla Milanese).
Naviglio canal is also navigable canal and its first boat trip service started in 2006. The new cruising tours will probably start this year from the mid of November from Alzaia di Naviglio, near the bridge “dello Scodellino” as soon as the authorities lifts the canal water level to navigable level.