For some years now there has been a certain level of interest among the inhabitants of Bologna and tourists with respect to the history of the waterways and the underground network of the city of Bologna and vicinity. The public has shown a great deal of curiosity and a desire to rediscover this part of the city that is known by few, hidden and unexplored but of great appeal.
Not everyone knows that the development and birth of the city of Bologna was possible thanks to the Casalecchio Dam. It was an artificial barrier built in the middle of the 14th century along the course of the Reno river, which allowed part of the river's water to be diverted artificially into a canal of the same name (the Reno canal), which has in turn contributed in large part to Bologna's economic fortunes and defensive waterworks from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The dam and related waterworks are the expression of a paleo-industrial technology having an immense impact on the infrastructure and landscape and are considered one of the most interesting and significant sites of "water archaeology" in Europe. In 2010, the dam was awarded UNESCO recognition as a "Heritage forerunner of a culture of peace for young people".
The BLUE EFFECT event offers an opportunity to explore historical and technical sites that normally are not accessible to the public, whose history spans the centuries from the 1200s until today. Suspended between the river and the canal and surrounded by the landscape of the Parco della Chiusa, you can visit the walkway built in the 16th century, whose design was attributed to the genius of Jacopo Barozzi, also known as Vignola, perhaps the most famous and most representative architect of the late Renaissance. You can get an up-close look at the monumental waterworks, whose slipway is 160 m long and 35 m wide, with a difference in height of 8.25 m, and discover the functional importance of the current dam whose conservation and maintenance are managed by the Consorzio della Chiusa di Casalecchio e del Canale di Reno. In addition, there will be shows performed at the Scaletta Spillway, the Canonica Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Green Island and the Lido of Casalecchio.
BLUE EFFECT is the festival that celebrates the dam and all the connected waterworks.