Canale Navile, Salviamo il Natale

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Cycling track along the Navile canal

Updated on 27 February 2020 From Comune di Bologna

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 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.

The route now enters the Bolognese flatlands, crossing Castel Maggiore, a territory with little sporadic churches and villas towards the town of Bentivoglio, where a brief detour can take you visit Museo della Civiltà Contadina and Oasi La Rizza.

Follwing the cycling path you now proceed towards Malalbergo, from off road paths to normal roads where it is recommendable to pay attention to traffic.

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