Offer WhatsApp
Houseboat

How the Navigation lock works: from Leonardo da Vinci’s project to today

Insight

The invention and the history of the navigation lock, from Leonardo da Vinci to today, easily explained.

The Navigation Lock, among whose inventors there is Leonardo da Vinci, is the solution to overcome any differences in altitude that can be encountered during the navigation. It is a sort of "lift" for boats that allows the boats to go up or down the step created by a water jump. But when and where are Navigation locks born?

The history of the Lock: the intuition of Leonardo da Vinci

The invention of the navigation lock is attributed probably to Filippino degli Organi and Aristotile Fioravante, two architects from Bologna who used a basin to overcome a height difference of about three meters in Viarenna, near Milan.

Leonardo da Vinci, made a fundamental contribution during a stay in Milan in 1482, as shown by the projects in the "Codex Atlanticus".
He planned to connect the Naviglio Martesana to the other local existing waterways. Leonardo da Vinci, who had already designed a dams system to solve the problem of height difference, made improvements to that system. His project consisted in the creation of two basins that would allow to cross the city by water, connecting the Adda river to the Ticino river.

Often the invention of the Navigation Lock is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, of whom Venice hosts a permanent exhibit, because his project is what is still used today to build the waterway lock.
A history of 600 years that makes navigation more fun and dynamic. But, how do navigation locks work?

 

chiuse-houseboat-veneto-e-friuli.JPG

 

The cross of the Navigation Lock, explained in simple words

The navigation locks consists on a basin, called "filling tank" or "reservoir", with o two doors, originally made of wood. .
If the door is open, the boat can enter into the basin. The door closes, isolating the basin, like a pool. The is few minutes tha level of the water in the basin changes by going down (if the boat has to go down) or up(if the boat has to go up)
Once the external water level is reached inside the reservoir, the second door is opened and the navigation can continue.

It is a simple mechanism, but at the same time quite complex, of hydraulic engineering, that allows in a few minutes to overcome the differences in water levels and create a pleasant interlude in navigation.

 

 

What are the most beautiful navigation locks you will find during your stay in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia with Houseboat Holidays Italia?

During the river cruises in Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia with Houseboat Holidays Italia, it will be possible to cross different locks. For example, during the journey from Padua to Venice it will be possible to meet five navigation locks, in Noventa Padovana, Dolo, Mira, Moranzani and Strà. The latter is of particular historical importance because it is one of the oldest locks in Italy, being dated 1481 as evidenced by a stone engraving still present on the spot.

Another important navigation lock that you can meet during the navigation is at Portegrandi, the only lockin the Sile Park that allows you to enter the Venetian lagoon.

Discover our itineraries and all the navigation locks that you will encounter during your trip, for a unique and fun navigation experience, by downloading our catalog.

Request a catalog

Offers, Stories, Insights

HouseBlog

Offers, travel stories, inspirations and insights to prepare your holiday on board. Filter by category and enjoy reading.

Story

Cod, a typical food of Venetian cuisine: history and traditions

The history of Baccalà Veneto (Cod) from the origins to traditional dishes become a classic of Italian cuisine, known throughout the world.

Find out more
Find out more
Offer

Black Friday 2022: Get an Extra 100€ Discount

Our amazing inland boating holidays are even more affordable today thanks to our Black Friday Offer.

Find out more
Find out more
Story

A holiday through the vineyards...on a canalboat

We are not talking about the French Burgundy here, but about north Italy, about the lagoons and the rivers in Venetia and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.

Find out more
Find out more
Insight

Where and how to moor your houseboat during your vacation

Can I tie my boat wherever I want during my holiday? How do I know if I will find a free spot? Where can I find available moorage places for my houseboat? These and other frequent questions will be answered in this article, in which you will get to know everything you need. 

Find out more
Find out more
Did you know that the world’s oldest clock is in Chioggia
Story

Did you know that the world’s oldest clock is in Chioggia

September and October are the ideal months to discover the less known attractions, as for example the secular secrets of the clock in the tower of Sant ’Andrea - church. Cruising on a houseboat in autumn will allow you to unveil the myths and the legends of the Lagoon of Venice.

Find out more
Find out more
Insight

The rhythm of a Houseboat Holiday

How many hours per week are spent cruising? How many kilometres can be covered? How many towns and cities can be visited? These are interesting questions, which we will try to answer.

Find out more
Find out more
Story

The legend of “The Devil’s bridge” on Torcello Island

Where does its name stem from? What does the black cat want? Why is the devil so attached to this place? Discover all this, and much more, sailing on a houseboat in autumn.

Find out more
Find out more
Story

A holiday is not a move

This funny, ironic story told in first person will help you understanding how you shouldn't prepare yourself for your boat cruise

Find out more
Find out more
Insight

The check-in of a boat is not the same as the check-in of an hotel

Learn here everything you need to know about the first day of your holiday, the boarding procedures, the driving lessons, the briefing

Find out more
Find out more
Story

Don't call it just Aperitif, it's Aperol Sprits Time!

Composed of 3 elements: sparkling white wine, fizzy water and Aperol. It is the climax of a typical boating day, and it comes at 6pm.

Find out more
Find out more
arrow prev
arrow next

Houseboat Holidays Italia

An experience in close contact with water, along the slow flowing river, away from crowds and mass tourism.

Catalog Plan your vacation

Request the Houseboat catalog now.

Maps Navigation charts

Buy our maps.

Buy now

Keep in touch

Receive updates and articles from Houseboat.

Houseboat Holidays Italia

Secluded beaches, sometimes unknown islets, historic villages, and culinary culture.