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Civic Museum of River Navigation in Battaglia Terme

In the Land of the Barcari

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Where is


Via Ortazzo, 63, 35041 Battaglia Terme PD, Italia (7m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The Museo Civico della Navigazione Fluviale is a collection of boats, parts of them, models and objects from the shipboard life of the barcari, men who had embraced a way of life rather than a trade. One of the stars of the museum is the Burcio, the boat that we might call the tyre of river transport, which could reach a length of as much as 35 meters. The location of the museum is by no means coincidental. We are in Battaglia Terme, for centuries the hub of water transport of goods and people.

Why it is special

Battaglia Terme was the junction between the Euganean Hills, the sea and many Venetian cities, Padua and Venice in primis. Today, many of its inhabitants by digging a little bit will discover that they have barcari, boat builders, or some other navigation-related professional among their ancestors. This museum, then, is not just a beautiful exhibit, nor an educational salon, but the physical embodiment of the collective memory of the community of Battaglia Terme. At this point, it is not even too surprising to think that this is the only museum of its kind in Italy.

Not to be missed

The museum is located in the old barcari quarter, Ortazzo, surrounded by the waters of the canals. It is therefore immersed in the memories and places where the daily life of the inhabitants of Battaglia took place and still takes place. Basically, the whole village, is a Diffuse Museum. One of the most beautiful opportunities to discover it is the boat tour offered by the museum. You can choose from different routes and boats: motor or rowing, following the glorious tradition of Venetian rowing. One of the most interesting passages is the Conca di Navigazione, a majestic hydraulic work still in operation today.

A bit of history

Battaglia Terme lies along the artificial Battaglia Canal, built by Padua to connect directly to the Euganean Hills, from which trachyte was mined. The vocation to transport goods by river became part of the town's inhabitants, who made it an art and a way of life. By the mid-1900s transportation by wheels and rails routed that by water, and the boatmen and their world became a memory. Around the 1970s, however, a project to recover memory and traditions began, leading to the opening of the Museum on May 2, 1999.


Battaglia Terme and its barcari played a crucial role in the making of something the whole world knows and envies us: Venice. and yes, its calli and bridges are paved with Euganean trachyte transported quickly to the lagoon precisely thanks to Battaglia's burci.

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Museo Civico della Navigazione Fluviale - Battaglia Terme

"The oar is our fountain pen, with which we wrote our story on the water" (Riccardo Cappellozza, last of the barcarians)


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