Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020)
Feature Articles

Leonardo and the Florence Canal. Sheets 126-127 of the Codex Atlanticus

Filippo Camerota
Museo Galileo - Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze, Italy
Published January 13, 2020
Keywords
  • Hydraulic engineering,
  • river navigation,
  • locks,
  • siphons,
  • cartography
How to Cite
Camerota, F. (2020). Leonardo and the Florence Canal. Sheets 126-127 of the Codex Atlanticus. Substantia, 4(1), 37-50. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-817

Abstract

The folios 126 r-v and 127 r-v of the Codex Atlanticus represent the most exhaustive account of a project developed by Leonardo over many years: the construction of a waterway between Florence and the sea. This navigable canal was supposed to restore the country from the Arno floods and encourage commercial traffic, bringing wealth to the entire region. Its length of no less than 72 km, the system of automatic locks designed to overcome the total height difference of 34 meters between Florence and Pisa, and the idea of ​​feeding it with a water reserve located in Valdichiana would have made it one of the most imposing and technologically advanced hydraulic works of the time.