Canale dei Navicelli

Il cosiddetto “sostegno” all’imbocco del Canale dei navicelli (A. Matteucci)
Il cosiddetto “sostegno” all’imbocco del Canale dei navicelli (A. Matteucci)
In the 1500s, the need to create a link between Pisa and the future city of Livorno grew stronger, given the poor conditions of the Pisan docks, no longer suited to modern naval needs. In 1541, the layout of a connecting canal was planned, thanks to Cosimo I de’ Medici. However, its definitive inauguration took place in 1603, during the government of Ferdinando I. The name comes from boats about 15 meters long, the 'navicelli' (small boats), which run along its waters. Near the Porta Degazia Nuova a shed was erected to shelter the ships and their goods from bad weather: the Sostegno, damaged during the bombings of the Second World War. The urban part of the canal was buried in the twentieth century and its mouth in the Arno was moved further west, with the opening of a new section. The canal is now navigable.
The Degazia Nuova Gate: The Porta a Mare, or Porta Degazia Nuova was opened at the end of the 12th century. It was connected to the Via portus pisani, which led to the basilica of San Piero a Grado and Porto Pisano. It had a drawbridge, called Degazia, with the arm rising inside the fort, part of the Citadel's control system (including the bridge). The tabernacle of the Madonna dei Navicellai, now in the National Museum of San Matteo, blessed the passage of wayfarers before the spectacle that still today appears beyond the threshold: the church of San Paolo in Ripa d'Arno (10th century).
Last update: 01/04/2021
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