Waterways, canals, rolling with the water. Launching the first stage of ARDA: A Ritmo D’Acque (Rolling with the Water), a project that will see BASE venturing beyond the confines of the Tortona neighborhood and making its way south in a series of leisurely explorations by bike. Mapping and exploring the local area, building a network of local operators, developing storytelling tools with augmented reality and multi-sensory signage: these are just a few of the aims of this project from BASE, in partnership with Bepart, Ideas, Local Logic, J’eco, Turbolento Thinkbike, and Fondazione RCM.
For Milano Bike City, the first routes are put to the test: on 14 September a 60 km route suitable for amateur cyclists; on 22 September a 32 km cycle revolving around waterways and agriculture.
A third route through urban architecture and works of street art is also set to launch, taking you from the Tortona area out to the open countryside.
EXPLORING THE LOCAL AREA
Heading outwards from the the city centre. Along the canals, through farmed landscapes, past old farmhouses and traditional factories: the area south of Milan is home to people and organisations that combine history and innovation, making for one of the most fascinating rural environments in the Lombardy region.
Leisurely routes to discover these places and give city-dwellers a fresh perspective, as well as promoting sustainable alternatives for the hordes of tourists who rarely venture beyond the city centre to explore the surrounding area.
WEAVING NEW STORIES
Digital art and technology join forces to weave new local stories, bringing together different cultures and generations. The routes will feature multi-sensory installations and augmented reality, and can be explored via a handy app offering a self-guided tour. September will see the launch of a call for artistic residencies at BASE which will take the selected artists through a hands-on course led by local initiatives to develop projects using augmented reality.
Are you a digital artist? Apply for the ARDA artistic residency. Find out how: https://base.milano.it/call-arda/
BUILD A NETWORK
As the project leader, BASE is the starting point for the routes, both physically and in terms of planning and design: the first stage involves building a network of qualified local operators: farms, social cooperatives, businesses who identify with the project’s remit, figures who both safeguard the area and bring it to life.
BASE heads out of the Tortona neighbourhood to discover the surrounding area, often dismissed as the outskirts, both socially and geographically, in order to map the landmarks, build a network and become its mouthpiece across the region.
THE FIRST TRIAL ROUTES
Milano Bike City celebrates bikes in every part of the city, from the centre to the suburbs. The ARDA project joins the festival with its first two free trial runs:
14 September – Difficulty: medium | Route: 64.5 km | Total time: approx. 8 hours
We set off from BASE and leave the city behind us, heading off with our guide along the grand canal, out into the countryside to the south of Milan, pedalling past rice paddies, farmsteads, and picturesque rural hamlets. A quick stop at Cascina Santa Maria to find out about rice farming, before making our way towards Morimondo, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages. Lunch and a free visit to the Abbey, then back on the bikes to head into Milan with a quick stop off in Abbiategrasso.
22 September – Difficulty: easy | Route: 32.5 km | Total time: approx. 6 hours | Suitable for families with children age 6 and over
A trip along the canal to a typical farmstead where we’ll spend a family day in the open air, marking the Vivi Zibido festival, which celebrates 500 years since the death of Leonardo Da Vinci. There’s also the option of a tour around the farm (10 euro for adults/free for kids up to age 14).
A third route, featuring urban architecture and works of street art from the Tortona neighbourhood out into the countryside, is on the way.