This pedestrian and cycle path along the Navile canal, running from the city centre all the way down to Bentivoglio, is a perfect choice for spending a couple of hours outdoors, among natural beauties and the gems of industrial archaeology.
The Canale Navile (Navile canal) was created between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century, and would originally connect Bologna and Venice, representing an important link for maritime trades for being navigable all the way up to the sea thanks to the sluices and the waterworks built along its path. It was used until the post Second World War period, when a considerable deal of productive settlements developed along its banks, exploiting the energy provided by water through paddle wheels, as furnaces, mills and small power plants.
The cycle path departs from Porta Galliera and reaches Sostegno della Bova, just outside Porta Lame, and, immediately after, the Park of Villa Angeletti that develops along the right bank of the canal.
Along the way consider stopping off at the Museum of Industrial Heritage, which documents the economic and productive history of the city and its territory from the Modern to the Contemporary Age.
The itinerary is dotted with numerous embankments of the 15th and the 16th century, such as Sostegno del Torreggiani, del Landi, and del Grassi, rebuilt three centuries ago by the architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. You will also pass by the district of Corticella, where the first port of Bologna was originally located, reachable after crossing a little seventeenth-century bridge called Ponte della Bionda.In Corticella, finally, you can also spot the Ponte di Corticella (the bridge over the Navile canal in Corticella), already mentioned in documents of the 13th century and dating back to 1289.
After this point, the itinerary crosses the bridge and enters the municipal area of Castel Maggiore. The last part of the path, which goes from Corticella to Castello, was inaugurated on the 21th of May 2016, in Castello.
Work is underway to extend the cycle path to the city of Malalbergo.