The spaces of the Opificio delle Acque – the educational-documentary center inaugurated in October 2020 and managed by Canali di Bologna – hosts the photographic exhibition “Hidden Canals in Bologna in the Twentieth Century”. Curated by Maria Cecilia Ugolini and Stefano Pezzoli, it showcases the transformations of the north-western area of the city, characterized for centuries by uncovered canals and factories that used water for various production activities.
The water in the canals, which at the time for obvious hygienic reasons led to its covering, have been improved thanks to the constant maintenance work carried out in recent years. The Opificio delle Acque has the function of collecting, preserving and disseminating the testimonies of the hydraulic history of Bologna, making use of the archival heritage of the Reno and Savena Consortia.
By comparing the archival data with the images preserved in the photographic collections from various sources, Canali di Bologna sought to reconstruct the most significant phases of the interventions during the twentieth century; focusing attention on the area crossed by the Reno canal, the Cavaticcio canal, the Moline canal and the Aposa stream.
The exhibition is divided into two sections in chronological order. It conveys the stages followed by the Municipality of Bologna to implement the Town Plan of 1889 and the urban transformations which, before and after the last war, hid much of the system hydraulic system of the Reno Canal. The most significant interventions have successfully been reconstructed, such as the coverage of the Canale delle Moline and the Aposa stream in the area north of the Montagnola, carried out in two phases thirty years apart.
The photographic exhibition is open until 29th January 2022. If planning a trip to Italy outside these dates, we recommend dedicating a few days to visiting this medieval university city; famous for its architecture and home to the real spaghetti bolognese.