Milan, guided tours in via Lincoln
From public housing to prestigious villas of 8,600 euros per square meter: the Lincoln district takes its name from the tiny stretch of road around which it develops. A small jewel nestled between via Archimede and via Sottocorno: it is also known as the "rainbow neighborhood" because its houses, 40 in all, are colorful in blue, green, red, yellow, surrounded by gardens, trees and plants in bloom. A hidden corner, for many still to be discovered, a stone's throw from Piazza Cinque giorni and with a history that starts from afar: it was born in the late nineteenth century as an working village, a garden district with small houses. Gianni Feltrini, 91 years old, lives in via Sottocorno and represents the historical memory of the area. He says: "In the nineteenth century there was the Porta Tosa station, the terminus of the railway to Treviglio (Bergamo), the first Lombard section of the Ferdinandea line for Venice. In reality, instead of a real station, there was the Caffè Gnocchi, which also served as a ticket office with a waiting room ".
In 1873 the station was decommissioned and in 1883 the whole area of around one hundred thousand square meters sold to the workers 'housing company (Seao) which, between 1884 and 1892 built, without completing it, the district today known as the workers' village of via Lincoln. Now the villas, which also suffered the bombings during the Second World War, have all been restored, and have acquired great value: "They are in great demand - says Leone Barbieri of the Santandrea agency, which deals with luxury properties - both for the uniqueness of the area, which we call the Milanese Notting Hill, both for its position, a stone's throw from the center: there is nothing else like it in Milan ». Here a 220-square-meter house on several levels was recently sold for 1.9 million: 8,600 euros per square meter. More than the average in the area, where a high floor, considered to be more prestigious than the ground floor, can cost seven thousand euros per square meter in a historic building. Danilo Augusti has a few more luster and has lived here for 35 years: "Over time the types of tenants have changed - he explains - before there was a more popular environment, now they are all professionals, lawyers, magistrates. I came to live here because I had a shop right next to it and then because it is fascinating to have a small garden ». It almost seems not to be in the city.
In recent years, the neighborhood has also become a tourist attraction, at least for the Milanese, while it is still little known by those who come from outside or from foreigners. Among the operators who organize guided tours there is also Artema. Laura Capelli, the guide who accompanies groups of about 20-25 people every month, says: "Those who have perhaps heard of this village come and want to discover it, but there are also those who do not know it. Anyway, every time we pass by via Lincoln, it's a surprise ».
The visit to the rainbow houses is part of a wider tour that includes the Porta Vittoria area: for those who want to discover it, the next tour is scheduled for 6 July (Visiteguidateamilano.it). The fact is that the neighborhood catches a lot of attention, especially in spring when the trees are in bloom: it is impossible to pass through here without admiring it, take a tour and, perhaps, even a photograph. In times of social media, Instagram and post crazy selfies with the hashtag #quartierearcobaleno, but also "rainbow district", and with the geolocation working village of via Lincoln. Stolen shots of the red, yellow, green and blue houses of the Milanese Burano.