Capraia e Limite – Rowing museum
Piazza Battisti 6, Limite sull'Arno
tel. +39 0571 978135
Sundays 3.00-7 p.m. (from March 24, 2019)
On the other days opening by reservation only calling +39 331 9837974 (48 hours in advance), Tito will answer.
Leonardo da Vinci himself, in front of the Arno, remains mute and suggests that we listen to its silent voice. He always tried to understand the essence of this important river, and decided to exploit its enormous power in favor of men by studying its bends, streams and floods. He observed it closely, in its flow through the city of Florence, and from afar, spending long days on the hills that surround us.
An absolute and discreet protagonist, the Arno tells its story. It has been a source of life but also of misfortune, according to its water levels, and the high road for the trades of spices, fabrics, weapons, materials, and works of art that have come and gone from here, by sea, all over the world.
In one of his codices, Leonardo shows us the project to divert the course of the river around Pisa, and conquer the town by causing hunger and thirst. The works started with the setting up of dams and dykes, that were protected by the Florentine army, but the Arno itself, with a flood, destroyed everything that men used to try to conquer it.
It is impossible to contain the force of Nature, it is better to learn to live together with it: this is the lesson we should remember.
And that is what the Exhibition Center of Boat Building and Rowing shows us: how the coexistence of men and the river has given rise to real works of art, thanks to the ancient technical and aesthetic knowledge of the axe-masters of Capraia e Limite. Here we find transport, fishing and racing boats; in fact, the typical spirit of rivalry among the Tuscans has always been channeled towards healthy sport competitions.
The oldest rowing society of Italy was born in Limite sull’Arno in 1861. Countless Italian, European and World champions have belonged to this society and, since the first years of the twentieth century, pleasure boating has developed too, listing among its customers Giacomo Puccini.