Highlights of this trip

  • Because it is an easily accessible point from the Villoresi canal towpath.
  • To rediscover the rural life of the area
  • Because it is a page of local history that deserves to be known
  • To spend a few hours in nature just a few steps from Milan Malpensa airport
  • Because from here you happen to see the animals that populate the Ticino River Park
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Your must-have travel gadget for this trip

Your own bike or enough cash to rent one :D

Best things to do in Castano Primo

Symbol of rural life in ruins, Cascina Malpaga in Castano Primo is a page of history to "see" along the Villoresi CanalPost Creator The Malpaga farmhouse of Castano Primo

Pedaling along the towpath that flanks the Villoresi Canal, near the territory of Castano Primo, in the province of Milan, you come across the ruins of a farmhouse now in a state of neglect and decay: Cascina Malpaga. What today appears as a dilapidated ruin, was, until the 1950s, a symbol of the fervent local agriculture, whose history dates back to the end of the 1400s.

Travel tips

Post Creator The Malpaga farmhouse of Castano Primo

An oasis of unspoiled nature, the Ticino Park offers many ideas for pleasant walks or bike rides. One of these takes us along one of the many waterways that flow within this strip of the Po Valley. And it is precisely by following the path that runs alongside the Villoresi Canal we come into contact with the agricultural realities that have animated this area of ​​Lombardy for centuries. A reality made up of arms that work the fields, crops and farms. Some of which are historical. There is no shortage of ideas to take excellent photographs. Those who love nature here can make pleasant surprises. In the right hours it is easy to meet the animals that populate the park such as gray herons, magpies, wild ducks etc. Leaving the path you can find restaurants where you can taste traditional Lombard dishes, including meats, salami, cheeses, all with polenta and homemade pasta.

The Villoresi Canal

The Villoresi Canal is an artificial watercourse designed and built between 1881 and 1890 to bring water to the fields of the Altomilanese and Brianza area. It was created after a drought that put a strain on the crops and is named after the engineer who designed it. Its route extends from the Panperduto Dam on the Ticino river (we are in the municipality of Somma Lombardo, in the province of Varese) and reaches the municipality of Cassano D'Adda, in the province of Milan, where it flows into the Adda river at the end of a route. just under 90 km long.

It is one of the longest canals in Italy, while the cycle path that runs alongside it starts from the dam on the Ticino river and reaches the height of the Villa Reale in Monza.

Post Creator The Malpaga farmhouse of Castano Primo

Cascina Malpaga

Pedaling in the area to the west of the municipality of Castano Primo hits this building in the open countryside. It is a large closed agglomeration, with a square shape, which until a few decades ago was one of the most active centers of rural life in the area. Its origins are lost in the mists of time. The first news of Cascina Malpaga dates back to 1491, as reported in some documents of the time.

The building, as we see it today, has a square courtyard plan enclosed by two buildings. On the southern façade you can also see the entrance to the small church, dedicated to San Bernardo. Perhaps built by the owners and certainly rebuilt in 1895. Today this oratory is closed. It can rarely happen to find it open to see that unfortunately the structure has been vandalized. The paintings in the upper part of the church and the writing above the front door still stand out. Probably from the same period are also the barns and the stables which instead are arranged parallel to the west and east sides of the architectural complex. These too, today are in a strong state of decay. The Malpaga farmhouse is in a complete state of neglect and prey to numerous vandalisms. Symbol of local agriculture, it was the historical memory of a glorious past made up of families who lived and worked the fields that surround it.


Post Creator The Malpaga farmhouse of Castano Primo

The first documents attesting the existence of Cascina Malpaga date back to 1491. In 1537 it was inhabited by about seven people, while at the beginning of the 17th century it housed at least forty. Its expansion continues over the centuries and in the mid-1800s 126 people lived in these spaces, which was reduced to about fifty in the mid-1900s. Then the slow and inexorable decline.

The Malpaga farmhouse today

Post Creator The Malpaga farmhouse of Castano Primo, oratory of San Bernardo

Today the state of conservation of the Malpaga farmhouse is very bad. The external perimeter walls are still standing but in several points they show signs of subsidence. Much of the roof has imploded. Inside the apartments themselves, many of which have collapsed, vegetation is growing. From the entrance gate you can peek into the courtyard which is now overrun with weeds. The bell has disappeared from the bell tower of the oratory.

How do I get to Cascina Malpaga

You arrive at the Malpaga di Castano Primo farmhouse by following the towpath of the Villoresi Canal both from Monza, about 40 kilometers away, and from the Panperduto dam, from where it is about 16 kilometers.

Where to stay in Castano Primo?

You can stay in one of the farmhouses in the area

Recommended tours in Castano Primo

The route described and the farmhouse can be visited without a tourist guide or an organized tour

Cycling tips

Where to cycle?

To get to the Malpaga farmhouse, follow the cycle path that starts from the pussy of Panperduto on the Ticino river. The building is located after 16 Km

Distance and time

I cycled for about 40 minutes before crossing the farmhouse

Can you rent a bike here?

Yes, in Castano Primo you can rent bicycles www.bortolamibike.it/noleggio-bici/

Photography tips

Where to photograph?

All along the route you can take excellent photographs, the farmhouse gives ideas for sactti in white and black

My Camera

NiKon D5000

Is any special equipment needed?

I used a 200mm

3. Travel Insurance

Why WorldNomads has impressed us so much?

  1. Backed by specialized insurance providers and global assistance partners
  2. You can always buy the insurance online, even if you are already traveling
  3. You can adjust your insurance coverage during the trip and claim online
  4. They cover a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Very high availability worldwide

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