The street was the access to the Porto Naviglio, Bologna's docks for the transport of goods on the Canale Navile. In 1801, the Western part of the street was called Via dei Murelli that was remaining about protection walls built for the security of pedestrians in the second half of the 16th century.
The port, inaugurated in the middle of the 16th century, was an important node of navigation and crossing point for commercial traffic. On the right river bank, there was a big dock for goods and custom's offices. On the left river bank, the Salara (deposit of the salt) was built in 1785. Coaches were leaving the port by Via del Porto, taking then Via Avesella and they had to arrive to the central custom's office in the city, Gabella Grossa, situated in the present Via Ugo Bassi.