Housed in an 18th-century laundry, El Brellin ( 02 5810 1351; www.brellin.com ;
cnr Vicolo dei Lavandai 14 & Alzaia Naviglio Grande 14; meals €40-45; Mon-Sat) is a ro-
mantic spot. The Sunday brunch buffet is laden with cured meats, scrambled
eggs, smoked salmon, and homemade desserts including the Milanese in-
joke, biscuit-filled chocolate 'salami'.
Canals were the autostrade of medieval Milan, transporting lumber, marble,
salt, oil and wine. The largest, Navigli Grande, grew from an irrigation ditch
to become one of the city's busiest thoroughfares. You can take a boat tour
Grande 4, Porta Genova area near Scodellino bridge; adult/reduced €12/10;
3) , for views of the churches and villas that line its banks.
On weekend and summer evenings, Milanese come for Navigli's aperitivo
scene. Almost every bar along the Navigli Grande offers an aperitivo buffet.
Some, like El Brellin (see No 2, left) , while grungy Plat du Jour ( 02 832
1823; Via Vigevano 2; Tue-Sun; Porta Genova, 2, 3) overflows with beer-touting
20-somethings. Corks start popping at about 7pm.
With its old laundries and warehouses, pretty iron bridges and low rents,
Navigli is home to a thriving community of artists and musicians. Eclectic stu-
dios and shops line the canals, perfect for window-shopping. Highlights in-
clude Mauro Bolognesi (
Porta Genovese) with modern collect-
9.30am-12.30pm & 3-7pm Tue-Sat;