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Ticinese district and the Navigli
The two basilicas of San Lorenzo Maggiore and Sant'Eustorgio, the medieval Porta Ticinese and the Columns of San Lorenzo all form an evocative setting for one of the major nightlife hubs in the heart of Milan. Not far away, to the south-east, is another symbolic location - the Navigli. The popular hangouts that line the towpaths or dispersed around the surrounding streets draw thousands of people at any time of day or night. To the east, beyond the Porta Genova railway station bridge, a maze of streets open up between the old reclaimed industrial buildings that lead to via Tortona and via Savona: a world of art galleries, photography studios and ateliers that invigorate the cultural life of Milan.
The Ticinese district
The district, which extends along the Via Torino and corso di Porta Ticinese axis, is one of the oldest in Milan and owes its name to the eponymous city gate. The historical and cultural heritage present in the vicinity, including the Roman circus, the amphitheatre, the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Sant'Eustorgio and the Diocesan Museum, reveals a stratified urban fabric where the ancient city and contemporary style meet and live side by side. It is a very popular evening meeting place for young people and, over time, the district has developed a strong commercial inclination with an enormous choice of bars, cafes and restaurants.
The Navigli district, with its artists, shops, artisan workshops and many creative studios that characterize the towpaths and shore, is one of the places where Milan’s vitality is most clearly manifested. The natural centrepiece of the neighbourhood is the Darsena marina, built in 1603, an actual urban port in which the waters of the Naviglio Grande and the River Olona (now underground) flow and from which those of the Naviglio Pavese flow out. Besides being one of the busiest nightlife districts in Milan, the canals also exude the charm of " Old Milan, city on the water", witnessed by a glimpse of the lovely vicolo Lavandai or, moving beyond the circonvallazione ring road, by that of the church of San Cristoforo that indicated the arrival in the city to those who entered through the Naviglio Grande. The Milan waterways, which today have lost their commercial function and original transport, now offer navigation services that enable tourist to discover the city from an unusual point of view.
Zona Tortona, the Headquarters of creativity
The district stretches along the parallel axis of via Solari, Savona and Tortona, behind the Porta Genova railway station. Established in the late nineteenth century and characterized by the presence of industrial buildings and residential homes for workers, it has been redeveloped and transformed into an important district for activities related to design, fashion and communication. Amongst others, the most impressive area is that of the Ansaldo former industrial complex (1910-30): since 2001 the abandoned spaces have housed the Teatro alla Scala workshops in three large interior pavilions: sets, costumes, rehearsal rooms.
The district is the beating heart of the city events that are held in occasion of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and the Milanese fashion weeks.