Lombardy, including Lakes Maggiore and Como, the rivers Ticino and Adda, and the major canals around Milan consisting of the Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese, and the Martesana.

The Naviglio Grande, remarkably, brought marble from Candoglia in the Alps all the way to the city walls without employing a lock.

A more difficult terrain near the Adda River, east of Milan, posed a greater engineering challenge for the Martesana canal and the dream of uniting Milan with Lake Como by navigation.