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    Navigate the Brentella channel

    Following the Brenta it is also possible to make an evocative route that leads out of the city, northwards, along an artificial canal called Brentella.
    The birth of this channel has a decidedly interesting story.

     Veneto was a land of water, but also a land of great contrasts. And so the Padovans and the Scaligeri of Verona often quarreled over the possession of Vicenza; and then the Vicentini diverted the course of the Bacchiglion to Longare and, depriving Padua of the waters of its main course and this meant for Padua the blocking of inland navigation, commercial traffic and the millstones of the mills. 

    These continuous subtractions of water from the Bacchiglione area by the inhabitants of Vicenza also corresponded to their ever increasing search for an autonomous way to the lagoon independent of the control of the Paduan people.

    And so the Vicentini in 1143 began the excavation of the Bisatto Canal , an artificial canal that starting from the Bacchiglione in Longare continued to Ponte di Barbarano , connecting the main river ports of the Lower Paduan area such as Albettone, Vo 'Vecchio, Lozzo Atestino, Este and Monselice; here via Pernumia connected to the Canale di Pontelongo and then to Chioggia. Padua was thus circumvented and the commercial traffic of Vicenza and the whole of the Lower Paduan area could reach the sea directly. Tired of this, the Padovans, in 1314, decided to build a channel connecting the waters of the Brenta and Bacchiglione rivers, that from Limena, at the gates of Padua North, diverted a part of the Brenta waters towards the lower trunk of the Bacchiglione which entered the city from the south; so that when the enemy closed the waters of the Bacchiglione, the Padovans brought the waters of the Brenta down to the city through this artificial canal called Brentella 

    In order to prevent the waters of the Brenta from flooding the Brentella river in floods, flooding the city, the Paduan people built the "Colmelloni " in Limena a hydraulic barrier of historical importance, by means of which the flow of the waters of the Brenta on Padua. To defend this building, a fort was built on the right bank of the Brentella; the Castle was then destroyed in 1509 at the time of the Cambrai war. From military work, the Brentella soon turned into a waterway and already towards the mid-1800s it was calculated that in a year about 1500 boats descended or ascended the Brentella. Today the Brentella river route is a purely naturalistic route navigable with small boats.

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    Guglielmo Santin

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    Guglielmo Santin

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