No doubt the zone of Navigli in Milan is one of the most vibrant quarters, inviting not just youngsters, for an aperitivo or a concert every evening. But besides all the festivity in the air, there are corners imprinted in the urban psyche for centuries which surprise with unusual tranquility.
One of my favourite stops when walking down the Naviglio Grande appears to be Il Vicolo dei Lavandai, or the laundrymen alley. This tiny path with a channel coming from Naviglio Grande used to be one of the places in the city where until the 1950s people would come to wash their clothes and buy soap.
Urban legend says that the quiet corner of the Vicolo dei Lavandai with its peacefulness and historical touch also impressed the famous sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro who opened his atelier there when he moved to Milan in the 1970s.
Walking along the vicolo today is like discovering an artistic promenade: I have a look in the open doors of the atelier, perceive the scent of oil paint in the air, catch pieces of art conversations and get closer to the creative life of the local artists.
Il Vicolo dei Lavandai | Art & culture, Relaxing | Free
Vicolo Privato Lavandai
24 hours daily