Milan Food Tour: Aperitivo in Navigli

History and a spritz with an expert canalside in Milan
From US$428 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
2 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Navigli District
  • Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio
Photos & Highlights
  • Explore Navigli and the canals during lively twilight hours, includes a tasty cocktail and food
  • Led by a local
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Tour Description
This twilight tour of the Navigli district in Milan is organized as an early evening traditional Italian stroll, designed for travelers to appreciate the city and rub shoulders with locals. In this case, we're bringing along a local insider who will shape your stroll into an introductory aperitivo tour. You’ll discover a charming area of Milan known as Navigli, a favorite among locals where hopping nightlife lines the placid canal and, more importantly, where you will delve into the history of the aperitivo, spending time together sipping on delicious cocktails and tasting local Italian snacks. This is a great way to begin a trip to Milan and answer a lot of the questions that come up on our first night in a foreign city.

Relics of the Three Kings

Our tour begins at Piazza Sant’Eustorgio, where your guide will introduce the overarching themes of the tour. You’ll pop into the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, one of the oldest churches in Milan, where you’ll discuss the fourth-century church and original relics (bones of the Three Kings) that were housed here. The plunder of the church in 1164 by Frederick Barbarossa and the subsequent arguments over the return of the precious relics may be discussed as well.

Leonardo da Vinci and Canals

As we leave this ancient church behind, you will meander through Navigli along the canals more commonly associated with Leonardo da Vinci. While Venice may be much better known for its series of canals, its Milanese counterparts also make for a tranquil stroll (with significantly fewer crowds). You’ll talk about the system of waterways that once connected the lakes to Milan, their function in transporting materials such as the marble used for the Duomo, and why the canals were covered over. You’ll admire the design and layout of the canals as you potter along the roads, pedestrian walkways, and bridges while discussing how da Vinci is believed to be instrumental in designing the system of locks for the canals in the fifteenth century. 

The History of the Aperitivo

Your guide will take a seat with you as you engage in the typically Milanese activity: the aperitivo. You'll learn how and why this become one of Italy’s most treasured traditions. Your guide will help to explain why this leisurely ritual, undertaken prior to eating, has become so entrenched in the city's culture. You’ll have the choice of drinks like Campari, Aperol, or a prosecco-based cocktail (or a non-alcoholic beverage for those who feel so inclined) and taste some snacks from the region and Italy in general, such as olives, local cheeses, and small toasts heaped with fresh ingredients. This will be a perfect time to ask your guide any questions you might have about Italian traditions and culture, as well as any lingering ambiguities around making the most of your time in Milan.

For a more focused examination of Milanese cuisine, we recommend our Milan Food Tour.

Take-Aways

At the end of your time together with your guide, you will leave one another sated, relaxed, and with a greater understanding of the endearing area of Navigli. Your guide will have shared their knowledge of the area, Milanese history, and delved into the subject of the aperitivo and its place in Italian culture.

FAQ

How many drinks are included on the tour?
The tour includes 2 drinks plus snacks spread across 2 different locations/bars.

Can I do this tour earlier in the day?
For private groups, yes. Please note your preferred start time in the travel notes section. Please note this tour can happen earlier in the day if you would like, although early evening is recommended/preferred due to the times the best venues are open and to best experience the way Italians do it 

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your guide will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.

Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
Please let us know your requirements and we may well be able to adjust the tour for reduced mobility.

Is this tour appropriate for children? 
This tour focuses quite heavily on the alcoholic drinks enjoyed as part of aperitivo and as such it is not our most child-friendly tour. It may be possible to adapt the tour depending on which guides are available. That said, we may be able to arrange a visit with a family-friendly guide. Please contact us.
Where You'll Start
(4.8) 16 Reviews

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Great way to kick off our visit to Milan! Wonderful food and drink plus a healthy dose of history to help us understand the region. Highly recommend.
The tour was excellent and Valeria was a wonderful guide. We recommend this tour!
Katerina was wonderful. She specter the best places and excellent recommendation for dinner. Forgot name