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Autareno Circuit

Itinerary 10

  • Trail Conditions: On foot
  • Interest: Religion, Hystory

    The suggested itinerary leaves from the water control panel of Naviglio Martesana situated in Groppello, a locality of Cassano d'Adda, you can easily reach by train (Milan - Venice railway line) and the underground (Gessate green line). The name "groppello" derives from the German term "krop", meaning hump, relief, overhead the plateau facing Geradadda territory. Near the water control panel, you will find the Lock, similar in structure to all the other locks of Martesana: farther on, on the right, the archibishop's villa built according to the will of Cardinal Borromeo as a hospital for clergymen is worth a mention.
    Going ahead along the towpath, you will reach the so-called "Salto del gatto", where the waters of Canale Villoresi partly flow into river Adda and partly into Martesana thanks to a work consisting of terraces and underpasses. Farther on, the dam of Italcementi blocks the course of the Naviglio, creating a small storage near the power plant.
    In the area of Vaprio d'Adda you will find Vellutificio Visconti (velvet factory), the most ancient industrial monument that has been preserved along river Adda. The four-floor main building, characteristic example of vertical industrial architecture, is characterized by an imposing embattled tower and two small towers at the corners of the shorter side of the building.
    Always going ahead along the towpath, you can admire "Casa del Custode delle Acque" (the House of the Water Keeper) and the "Regia Camera" of Vaprio d'Adda situated between Naviglio Martesana and Adda riverbed, in a strategic position to control the passage of goods and travelers and collect the duties.
    Looking up, on the left, on the hill of Vaprio, you can observe Villa Visconti, recognizable from the coat of arms of the noble family of Milan, and Villa Melzi d'Eril, famous because Leonardo da Vinci lived here between 1506 and 1513.
    In this point, abandon the towpath and follow Pons Aureoli, then go down towards the river to walk along the towpath of roggia Vailata, leading to the former church of S. Anna. Farther on, you will find another dam, Sant'Anna dam, where the channel of the National Flax and Hemp Factory feeding the hydroelectric power plant of the latter begins.
    Go ahead along the channel and reach the workmen's village estate of Fara Gera d'Adda with the workmen's palaces and the small villas for the clerks, the kindergarten, the cooperative, the factory, and the recently renovated boarding school.
    Cross Piazza Roma and reach Basilica Autarena built in the late 6th century.
    Beyond the historical town center, reach again river Adda and cross it along a wooden and iron footbridge which replaced in 1890 the ferry boat and the boat bridge. The bridge crosses the channel of the Flax Factory and river Adda, another bridge crosses the channel of Italcementi, and you will reach loc. Pignone.
    Following an uphill asphalt road closed to the traffic you will return to Groppello, the departure point of the itinerary.

    Autareno Circuit
    Autareno Circuit
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