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Museum of River Navigation

Museum of River Navigation

Museum of River Navigation

The first museum dedicated to the major activities of the “barcari”, the boatmen

Battaglia Terme is the most original town in the Euganean area. It sprang up on the banks of a flume dug in medieval times to connect Padua to Monselice; in short time it turned from a small village centered around a river port,  into a wealthy town, teeming with commercial and artisan activities

The river junction of Battaglia Terme, formed by the intersection of even four waterways (Bisatto, Rialto, Vigenzone and Battaglia), for centuries was the focus of intense commercial exchanges and trading, based on the activity of so-called “barcari” (boatmen), the experienced sailors of river navigation. On their boats they carried the “masegni” (paving stones, namely blocks of trachyte) and grains coming from the Euganean area, towards the ports of Venice and the lagoon. 


The testimonies of these tireless workers’ lives and the history of their activities are told through more than 4,000 exhibits in the Museum of River Navigation. 

This is a unique museum of its kind, founded on the initiative of former “barcari” who, since 1979, with great passion and tenacity have collected all materials and documents made available to the municipality of Battaglia Terme, with the purpose of preserving memory of their ancient craft. 

The museum consists of five sections illustrating the types of boats, the equipment used in the “squeri” (dockyards), the waterway system of the territory, the evolution of the means of propulsion and objects of life on board the boats. Along the exhibition, visitors can also meet one of the former boatmen who, through his oral testimony, will allow to discover all the traditions and secrets of the river workers. Do not expect tales of great adventures, but simple and touching life experience that mark the true story of Battaglia Terme and enrich the soul. 

Finally, an outdoor section allows to watch some ancient cargo or service boats floating in  the waters of the canal adjacent to the museum: here you can admire the burcio (flat bottomed boat), the gabarra (sort of barge), the mototopo (freight boat), in addition to the most well-known pleasure boats such as the mascareta (punt) and the Venetian gondola.


Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -