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Sostegno e Canale dei Navicelli

During the reign of Cosimo I de’ Medici a canal was dug from Porta a Mare in Pisa to the Fortezza Vecchia at Livorno in order to connect the port at Livorno with Florence and the hinterland via the river Arno,Planned in 1541, it was 22 km long and finally reached Livorno in 1574-75. It was called “dei navicelli” from the particular type of craft used on it and was opened to traffic in 1603. The route of the canal was considerably modified in the 18th century and, under Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, the so-called "Sostegno" at the Pisan basin was re-built: in place of the simple roof that sheltered boats during customs formalities, an imposing brick-built construction was erected.



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