Arno River Cruise: Florence from another point of view
Arno River Cruise, or: a completely different way to experience the… flowing of history (pun intended) in Florence.
Arno River Cruise: Florence at river level
Arno has always been a huge part of Florentine history; Arno defines the Florentine landscape as well.
The Arno river cruise project is organised by a relatively young association, but it roots in the story of the city.
In 1995 the “Associazione Culturale i Renaioli” was established.
The mission of this cultural association is to recover, conserve and preserve the historical Arno boats and their use.
Renaioli: Florence sand of time
You know that Italian language comes a lot from Florence and Tuscany.
The word “rena”, sand, basically a synonym for “sabbia” is a very old one (you can find it in Boccaccio and Dante!) and it is of course the root of “renaioli”: literally “sand gatherers”, workers that used boats to retrieve sand from the river Arno bed to use it in construction and to make the navigation of the river itself easier.
After industrialization the art of manning the slender barchetti, the small Renaioli’s boats, was at risk.
“Associazione Culturale i Renaioli” started to restore the barchetti, restoring the still existing ones and even saving some of the sunk ones.
The barchetti are now a very nice way to enjoy Florence and its river from a unique perspective.
A Florence city center navigation
The Arno River Cruise – barchetto experience – is on between May and September. The barchetti leave from Lungarno Diaz, the experience takes around 1 hour (45 minutes of navigation, around 15 minutes for embarkation and disembarkation procedures.
You will be literally surrounded by the beauty and heritage of the Lungarni, the Arno quays, and you will experience the unusual view of the Uffizi Gallery from the Arno surface and of the Ponte Vecchio from beneath!
If you want to make your Arno Cruise even more interesting, just contact us!