From the tibetan bridge to the celtic calendar, an experience where you are suspended in time.

Length: 25
Ground: mixed
Difference in level:
Interest: Cultural  Naturalistic  
Difficulty: easy



The route starts from the Turbigo railway station, which is an important Italian center, due to the presence of thermoelectric powerhouses, now owned by, Edison Power, which was built in 1903.  Despite the presence of the power plant, Turbigo is immersed as a natural area of particular value that runs along the Ticino and the Naviglio Grande that meets along this path. From the station you will then arrive to the resort Tre Salti (near the Naviglio Grande), where it also meets the Tibetan bridge, which crosses the drainage canal of the Edison Power plant. The bridge is located 8 feet above the water, and has a steel frame and wood approximately 70 meters long.  In order to cross the bridge, you must be very careful, whilst following all the rules posted on the signs.

Read more

After crossing the bridge, you immediately follow the left path. This chosen course sees a young forest that runs along the Ticino and then plunges back into the vegetation.  You then cross a bridge over the Canal Turbighetto and continue, before turning to the right, where you reach an iron gate that separates the forest from the dead-end street. Then turn right in a southerly direction into the woods where you see the connection between the forest and the embankment point. From this point on, the route runs along the bank of the river with more open and bright scenery. These woods are composed of Olmi, Oaks and Robinie.  In a few minutes you arrive to the Turbigo bridge, which in Roman times was a very important point of communication, as it was placed at between two Roman roads: Mediolanum Novaria and Comum Novaria.  In the eleventh century a wooden bridge was built and destroyed two centuries later. After this destruction another crossing was made using the ‘boat bridge’, which is a structure composed of two boats joined together.  This was used as a ferry to transport goods and people, with the aid of ropes anchored between one side to the other. The existing Ancient Port still keeps the remains of a cell, a construction in rock and brick, which supportsthe wooden structure used as a stopping point for people and the goods. In 1887 an iron bridge was built, which was destroyed during the Second World War butwas later built. When passing through the imposing structure, you can reach the area Ex Vita Mayer that stands next to an area characterized by a small pond, a former quarry lake. This has been transformed into a natural environment that is home to many different species including aldehydes and ducks. Environmental restoration, carried out by the Park, has also affected the surrounding area. Through the path that runs along the river side and that goes into the American Forest, you will reach the bike path of the Naviglio Grande.  You cross large areas of woodland with the growing crops. In the direction of the ancient bridge of Padregnana you pick up the bike path , heading south along the Naviglio Grande. Continuing on the towpath, after about three miles, you arrive to the Castelletto of Cuggiono, where you can admire a large marble staircase of the Candoglia, and on the left one of the most lavish Lombardian villas, Villa Clerici. The construction of Villa Clerici begun in 1733.  This Villa and the monastery compound represented one of the most beautiful architectural landscapes of the entire path of the Naviglio Grande. Continuing south towards Magenta, along the towpath of the Naviglio Grande, you see pleasant buildings that overlook the river and just outside the village, stands an old medieval tower which indicates the presence of the Village of Rubone, an ancient village  that was inhabited by miners.  Today it is viewed differently as it has been completely transformed. At the height of Rubone you leave the towpath trail and take a dirt road that, after a short descent leads into a beautiful forest of oak, hornbeam, alders and willows.  On the right you will find directions to visit the Celtic Calendar and the Lanca di Bernate. The presence of the Celts in Bernate is evident by the discovery of historical artifacts dating back to that century.  For this reason, the park has developed a calendar that shows every Celtic zodiac sign, associating each sign to a different essence of the forest,displaying religious and curative meanings attributed to them by this mysterious population. The area, which moves toward the river, is specially protected as is the waterway, with its constant changes of bed that allows the formation of an oxbow lake (named Bernate). Around ten years ago, the area was restored by the Park and created a nature trail with information boards describing the environment and an observatory in the woods. The natural environment is lush with rich aquatic vegetation. After the visit to the Celtic calendar and Lanca, youthen return to the towpath along the same road and continue south to Bernate Ticino. In Bernate, which is known as the ancient land of the Popes, we recommend a stop at the rectory, the initial construction by Pope Urban III, which dates back to 1186.  The compound of the canonical, that stands today, is a facade of the seventeenth century and incorporates the remains of an older structure. The bell tower was built with a Gothic style, with mullioned windows and decorative arches.  This monument had a crypt with columns of the thirteenth-century era, where in the past the faith community was welcomed, to celebrate baptism and where the most precious relics were kept. Resuming the journey, you then come along the bike path Boffalora Ticino. The village is split into two by the passage of the Naviglio Grande, which is connected by a historic granite bridge built in 1603 and renovated in 2003.  The Historic Center is placed nicely, moored near the bridge where you can see a replica of the famous ‘Barchett de Bufalora’,a boat carrying travellers to the dock of Milan. Continuing along the bike path, you reach Ponte Vecchio di Magenta, on the left, near the bridge that leads into the valley. Here lies Villa Castiglioni, a historic villa, now the seat of the administrative and technical Ticino Park. The villa is a building complex consisting of the main body surrounded by two patios and a large garden. The interior was designed bearing the special taste of the late empire.  On 4 June 1859 the villa was the scene of the central episode of the battle of Magenta (War of Independence) between the Franco- Piedmontese troops and the Austrian army. As for the outdoor spaces, this is an on-going project to develop the garden for public use. The project involves the redevelopment of the historic park and the expansion of green parties in the entrance with flowerbeds consisting of hedges (native species) and new trees in the new walkway. From Ponte Vecchio, and then crossing the bridge over the canal, you can reach the ‘Riserva della Fagiana’, a beautiful natural area, but also a place of rest where educational activities and excursions are held.  On the other hand, continuing the towpath towards Robecco sul Naviglio and Cassinetta Lugagnano, you can see the most beautiful and artistic villas and palaces settled in Lombardia.  In order to reach the station of Magenta, you must walk along a stretch of Via Isonzo and then pick up the bike path that leads to the end of the lap, and the city centre.


Leave a Reply