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Canale Navile

Via del Navile - 40131 Bologna (BO)

Reference maps: L-10

Date of last update: 09/05/2016, 17:59

Origins of the Canale Navile are not clear. It is probable that there were some streams (or their parts) in the marchland used for navigation already during the Roman period. For about 700 years, this Navigation Canal was the main way to get to all ports of the Adriatic sea. The importance of this waterway was mentioned already by the king Berengario in 905. In 1208, the Comune (City Council) together with private entrepreneurs called “Ramisani” of the Canale di Reno decided to deviate all water streams of the city to the only Canale Navile for navigation from Corticella up to Malalbergo.
The Canale Navile took the present aspect only in 1548 after the end of construction works of the Port and of numerous locks built on the canal. Ten locks were built in the upper part of the canal to navigate through different terrain levels. Numerous canals in different valleys were used for the navigation in the lower part of the canal (Malalbergo – Po).
Unfortunately, the canal was downgraded from the navigation canal to the irrigation canal in 1964. The system of locks was destroyed and the importance of the canal was forgotten.
Nowadays, it is possible to walk along almost all of its 35 km of length and you can admire ruins of paper factories, bridges, wash-houses, drains, one hydroelectric plant from 1901, one port and the beautiful mouth of its confluence with the Reno river. 

The description is taken from Associazione Amici delle acque (in Italian)

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