Galeas per montes

In January of 1439 a fleet, consisting of 25 large boats, 2 Galley and 6 frigates (or 6 galleys and 2 frigates according to other sources), sailed from Venice entering the mouths of the Adige near Sottomarina di Chioggia, went up the river passing through Legnago and Verona. There, being the Adige in lean, they had to apply to the boats a sort of “floating” of wood to reduce the draft and continue through the sluiced of Ceraino up to over Lavini di Marco near Lagarina Valley south of Rovereto, and to Mori. In the town of Mori, just south of Rovereto, the fleet was rolled up and loaded onto newly invented machines. Then, with the help of 2000 oxen commandeered in the vicinity and hundreds of sailors and rowers of ships with local men, the boats were rolled on rollers over the wooden planks road passing through the villages of Mori, and the Lake of Loppio, which allowed to put the boats in the water for 2 km. Then the fleet was pulled again and dragged along the steep slope to the Pass of San Giovanni. During the steep descent from the Pass towards Nago, the ships were held with large ropes secured to winches and slid slowly towards the shore of the lake, to Torbole. The weight of the vessels was such that several old olive trees, which had served as anchors for the winches, were torn from the ground. To stop the descent they resorted to waiting for the strong wind that blowing from the south in the afternoon and hoisting the sails to lighten the weight of the ships. The complex operation, which lasted three months, cost to the Republic of Venice the fabulous figure of 15,000 Ducats. All this to lose the battle over to the Milanese and continue fighting.


In ways, this story is similar to ours or not at all. Our crews are smaller; oxen are replaced by horsepower, we can reduce our draft easily, and we don’t pull out olive trees with our winches.  We travelled here to fight but in a civilised and friendly manner. We conquered the locals, not with swords and spears but rather with our tight friendship and love for sailing. That is why we have won. Every single one of us has won and took home a plentiful bounty of good memories.


*the slightly edited history article comes from Wikipedia