BOLOGNA WATER TOUR
In the 12th century Bologna was the fifth European city by population and the largest textile center in Italy, thanks to its system of canals used for silk mills. Today most of these canals have been filled in and traces of the dense water system remain almost only in toponymy.
Starting from the Fountain of Neptune, you walk through the streets of the center up to Via delle Moline , the canal area of the ancient city. At the intersection with via Capo di Lucca you can hear the roar of the Salto del Canale delle Moline , whose energy was used to move the millstones. We then move to Via Piella to admire the small window on the Moline Canal and the bridge over the canal, both overlooking. Heading west you arrive at the Cavaticcio canal which fed the navigable Navile and derived from that of the Reno, which here made a drop of 15 metres, exploited as a source of energy by the numerous factories existing in this area since the 12th century. You then reach via Riva di Reno , in which, as the name suggests, the Reno canal once flowed (now buried) and via della Grada up to the headquarters of the Reno and Savena Canal Consortia in Bologna.
The route of the waters can also continue outside the city center, with different itineraries:
I) The Valverde Conservatory ( Bagni di Mario ): Renaissance underground cistern built to supply the Fountain of Neptune.
II) The Casalecchio di Reno Lock : the oldest hydraulic structure in Europe in operation and recognized by UNESCO as a "Messenger Heritage of a Culture of Peace in favor of young people" (also reachable by bicycle along the cycle path of via Sabotino) .
III) The Navile Canal : the main waterway connecting Bologna and the Po river since the Middle Ages. You follow the course of the canal starting from the park of Villa Angeletti , passing through Sostegno del Battiferro , Torreggiani , Landi , Grassi and Corticella to finally arrive at the Corticella Bridge .