WIT Press

The Naviglio Grande In Milan: A Study To Provide Guidelines For Conservation


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M. Boriani, S. Bortolotto, M. Giambruno, L. Binda & C. Tedeschi


The \“Naviglio Grande”, is part of a system of canals which ran through Milan, coming from two rivers, the Ticino and the Adda, which run west and east of Milan. The early embankments of the canal, which dates back to 1187 according to historical documents, were made with earth or gravel, and were later on substituted by masonry walls made with bricks and \“ceppo”, a natural conglomerate. These embankments are now affected by serious decay which has caused partial collapse in several areas; the Lombardia Region commissioned the Politecnico guidelines for the repair and conservation of the historical part of the bank. The aim of the research carried out by the authors was therefore to define a methodology of investigation to assess the damage and to suggest to the municipality of Milan (who are responsible for the Naviglio), a reliable technique for repair and preservation of the ancient bank walls. The historical reconstruction of the embankments characteristics and the on-site and laboratory investigation allowed us to suggest the appropriate techniques to halt the decay of the bank walls. Keywords: canals embankments, stones, mortars, masonry, stratigraphic survey, non-destructive technique. 1 Introduction The Naviglio Grande is part of a complex canal system that ran through Milan until the early 20th century marking its urban image in a most peculiar way. Documents date it back as early as 1187 although it was completed only in the 14th century. It was designed both to irrigate fields and to allow inland navigation. It was originally embanked with mounds of earth or gravel


canals embankments, stones, mortars, masonry, stratigraphic survey, non-destructive technique.