Vicolo dei Lavandai
Jutting out from the main Naviglio Grande canal, Vicolo dei Lavandai (Launderers’ Alley) is a highlight of the fashionable Navigli District and a picturesque remnant of medieval Milan, which was once crisscrossed with interconnecting canals, called "navigli." Stop by to see the area once used by washerwomen to launder clothing and linens, as well as the former shop where soap and bleach was sold—and then relax at one of the restaurants or cafes lining the lane.
Navigli District—one of the city’s most vibrant areas, home to galleries, cafes, restaurants, and clubs—is thick with restaurant tables set along the canals or on floating barges on the water. Discover Milan’s food and wine scene while at Vicolo dei Lavandai and the surrounding area. For ease and fun, join a Milan aperitivo tour or beer tasting in this historic neighborhood.
Things to Know Before You Go
Be sure to bring your camera to capture the canals and colorful period buildings of Vicolo dei Lavandai.
The area is paved and well-maintained, making it easy to manage with a wheelchair or stroller.
Come to experience Milan’s famous nightlife or for a meal or drink during the day.
Tours of Vicolo dei Lavandai and the Navigli District require a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
How to Get There
Walk from the Piazza del Duomo along Via Torino to Corso di Porta Ticinese, the entrance to the Navigli District. The nearest metro stop is Porta Genova.
When to Get There
Vicolo dei Lavandai is most vibrant on summer afternoons and evenings, when the bars and restaurants fill up. See the neighborhood at its best by joining an afternoon food tour or evening walking tour.
Navigli District History
Vicolo dei Lavandai is a highlight of the Navigli District, where Milan’s historic canals were once located. The canal system was created in the 12th century and expanded on over time, but by the beginning of the 20th century, most navigli had fallen into disuse and were paved over. Today, only Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese still exist, and the former working-class Navigli District has become one of the most bohemian and vibrant areas in the city.
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