Bologna Underground

Exploring the underground spaces of the reno canal

Every year for about three weeks dry maintenance is carried out on the city canal system, i.e. the supply of water to the ancient waterways of the city of Bologna is interrupted in order to carry out the maintenance work necessary to resolve the issues caused by the rains and snowfalls of the winter.

If such operations were not performed periodically and systematically, it would not be possible to cut the grass, repair the embankments, carry out building maintenance and check the control systems. Without these fundamental activities, periods of high water could lead to floods that would cause considerable damage to the community.

When the Reno Canal is empty, Canali di Bologna takes the opportunity to organise guided tours in the underground city of Bologna. During these visits, participants are shown the unexplored corners of the underground canal in the heart of Bologna, starting from the Cavaticcio Hydroelectric Power Plant to the so-called Guazzatoio in Via Augusto Righi.

The funds raised through these visits are reinvested by Canali di Bologna in development projects that change periodically. In recent years, the funds raised have been allocated to the Reno Canal lighting and night-time redevelopment project for the uncovered section between Via de' Malcontenti and Via Oberdan.