Settore idroviario

The Waterway of Ferrara and the area

The “Padano-Veneto waterway” system

Italy is served by 4 of the 9 corridors of the “Core network”:

a) the Baltic-Adriatic corridor;

b) the Mediterranean corridor;

c) the Scandinavia–Mediterranean corridor;

d) the Rhine-Alps corridor.

The “Mediterranean Corridor 3” includes the “Padano-Veneto waterway system”. It connects the Iberian Peninsula (from Algeciras) to the Hungarian border, passing through two of the major developed areas of the continent: the south-east of France and the Po valley, which alone generates more than 70% of Italian exports.


The "Padano-Veneto waterway"

The Po river region contains a corridor consisting of a commercial waterway connection over 300 km in length between Milan and Venice, with an additional 180 km of coastal navigation to Trieste. The main objective of this waterway is to use the river infrastructure for freight transport by barges and ships for at least 340 days a year.

The “Padano-Veneto waterway” starts from a logistic centre in the Milan hinterland, Truccazzano, located between two motorways under construction – BreBeMi (Brescia-Bergamo-Milano) and the Outer East ring road – and the railway stations of Melzo and Treviglio. The waterway is connected to the industrial port of Cremona, where it flows into the Po and along which it reaches the area of Mantua.

From here the “Padano-Veneto system” forks into two alternative routes: the first merges into the Fissero-Tartaro-Canalbianco waterway that serves the industrial port of Rovigo and, by connecting with the railway network, directly reaches the Adriatic sea at Porto Levante, south of Chioggia; the second follows the Po river to the Volta Grimana sluice and then continues along the Po Brondolo channel until it reaches the Chioggia lagoon.

On this second path, the Waterway of Ferrara offers a third option: you can reach the Adriatic Sea by following the Po up to Ferrara, and then navigating the 70-km-long Waterway of Ferrara to Porto Garibaldi. From here, following the coastline, you can reach the core port of Ravenna, the strategic southern end of the Baltic-Adriatic corridor.


The advantages

Currently, the Italian transport system in characterized by the clear dominance of the road. Under these conditions, a development of inland waterways connected to the cabotage can improve the overall transport system flexibility and could be seen as an element to facilitate intermodality in Po Valley.

The Proposed Action could bring new and additional benefits for local people and also enable the development of new forms of tourism promoting Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna Regions, rich in historical and cultural elements.


The waterway is an opportunity for the start-up of activities and services to support the infrastructure (shipbuilding, logistics), the development of services in support of commercial transportation (logistics and intermodality), the strengthening of activities and services in support of existing businesses. Furthermore, the waterway represents the start of a new model of economic and productive development, and is a driving force for the redevelopment and reuse of brownfield sites, the conservation of additional territory, and for the development of import-export activities along the river.

In order to validate the hypothesis of waterways enhancement it is necessary to consider:

  1. the expenditure on the infrastructures' building and management;
  2. the transport costs savings deriving from the modal shift from road to waterway;
  3. the "indirect benefits" associated with costs reduction for road management, with the reduction of accidents and emissions.

For each of these topics the evaluation of the benefits exceed costs. The convenience of the waterway has to be assessed by comparing the total costs of waterway transport with total costs of road transport.


The waterway will foster the emergence of activities and services in support of the pleasure boating sector (shipbuilding, accessories and nautical equipment, new infrastructures, ports, harbours, sailing clubs) as well as the development of nautical tourism (accommodation services, sport and recreation). Consequently, the development of nautical activities will boost the economic and commercial development of the area through the creation of a network of production chains necessary to integrate trades and skills related to the sea and waterway (sea district).


Thanks to the waterway, it will be possible to strengthen slow tourism along the river (cycling, house boats, horse trails, fishing), publicise local products, boost the hospitality industry and all recreational activities related to the river, enabling partnerships between institutions and privates to promote a responsible form of tourism and create a sustainable vision of the future. Additionally, the redevelopment of all areas and territories along the river represents a great development opportunity to increase the accessibility of space in the areas of intervention and enhance their natural and cultural heritage.

The EU has created stimulus packages and enacted targeted operations with the goal of reducing traffic.

It is estimated that, upon completion of the Waterway of Ferrara, the increase in river traffic will translate into a significant reduction of roadway traffic, with a positive reduction of CO2 emissions. Waterway traffic produces fewer emissions and has greater energy efficiency compared to roadway or railway traffic.

Azioni sul documento

ultima modifica 2018-03-15T13:10:00+02:00
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