Dear Arno, I want to navigate you

The Arno has always been important for Florence, both economically and culturally. Until the mid 18th century, when rail transport progressively replaced river transport, the Arno was the most important, fastest and cheapest way of communication to the sea.

Even Lorenzo the Magnificent in one of his famous songs compared him to a generous father and a faithful friend.

But it was also a place for sport and entertainment! Since the Middle Ages it has been the setting for theatrical events and performances and, in the early 1900s, in the strip that goes from the San Niccolò bridge to the Verrazzano bridge, it was the training pool for the Fiorentina swimming team (Rari Nantes). In the 1930s it was sailed by a tourist motor ship, the “Fiorenza”, set up as a large floating ballroom.

But it wasn’t the only boat that crossed the waters of the Arno: goods and people traveled aboard boats and small boats of all types and even the boys, when they were ‘gallows’ at school, didn’t disdain a boat ride on the Arno, which , during the summer, it became a real beach for children, families and all Florentines, even the bravest, who dived from the bridges! (not without a few accidents and bumps)…

After many years in which the Arno has been plowed almost exclusively by rowers and their canoes, this summer, until 30th September, you can sail gently on the Arnoboat, a one-hour mini-cruise with zero impact, with power supply to photovoltaic panels. It starts from the mooring point on Lungarno Diaz, near Piazza Mentana, and runs along the stretch that goes from Ponte alle Grazie passing under Ponte Vecchio, Ponte Santa Trinita and Ponte alla Carraia. An opportunity to see Florence from another point of view.