Leonardo’s Port-Canal in Cesenatico
The Port-Canal in Cesenatico is one of the unique sights in the seaside resort in Romagna. It was designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502 for Cesare Borgia, an illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI who was Duke of Valentinois, a famous ‘condottiero’, and later a cardinal.
To view things in the right perspective before planning the canal, Leonardo had climbed to the top of a beautiful tower that is now gone, destroyed by the German troops during the Second World War.
Here is how Italian writer Stefano Tura describes the Port-Canal: “Dozens of big and small fishing boats crowded both sides of the canal where, over the years, many bars and restaurants had opened, with terraces overlooking the harbor. Every morning around four o’clock, except during the closed season, boats turned on their engines and left, making great noise; they came back after about eight hours, to sell fish at the market.”
“Fishermen and local families used to live in the two-story houses near the port. In June of 1849, Giuseppe Garibaldi passed through here while escaping from the Austrians, with his dying wife Anita. Twenty-six years later, in a building on the other side of the canal, Marino Moretti was born – the fourth of eight children of a seaman and a schoolteacher, and one of the greatest writers, poets, and playwrights in Italy’s 20th century” (S. Tura, “Tu sei il prossimo”, Fazi, Rome 2014).
A small town in Italy, with a great history and certainly great beauty.