Maida Vale takes its name from a spot on the toe of Italy, via a war and a pub. In 1806, isolated British forces at Maida held back Napoleon’s advance. That same year, a pub opened on the outskirts of London and hung out a sign to celebrate the victory. The pub being more or less the only landmark at the time, soon enough its name was being used for the surrounding area. With the opening of Regent’s Canal in 1816, Maida Vale quickly developed, earning the nickname “Little Venice” for its white stucco architecture and spangles of moored houseboats. The BBC Maida Vale Studios opened in 1946 in buildings that used to be a “Rollerskating Palace.” In 2018, it announced the planned closure of the legendary home of BBC radio, most notably the John Peel sessions.