Casa del Gallo
The Bisatto, since the fourteenth century, was equipped with a series of small ports along its entire route, but in particular with moorings in Longare, Costozza, Ponte di Castegnero, Ponte di Nanto, Ponte di Barbarano and Albettone. The latter was the point of arrival of the first part of the journey of the goods, which were unloaded and then transported in larger barges and boats that took the Este waterway to arrive at the lagoon. The most widespread of the fluvial means of transport was certainly the “burcio”, cited by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy (Inferno, canto XVII) that ploughed the rivers of the Venetian plain: the Adige, the Bacchiglione and the Brenta in particular.
These type of vessels could reach 12 to 14 meters in length and were equipped with an open hold comprising almost the entire interior of the boat; also, they had low sides to facilitate the loading and unloading of sand, gravel and other materials. The placenames of Burcia and Burchietta testify the passage of these boats. The loops of the canal that you can see along the route served as areas for stopping and manoeuvring for larger vessels.
The recently restored Burchietta, known as the “Casa del Gallo” (home of the cockerel) takes its name from the “burchi” or “burci” which were the most common means of river transport along the Bisatto canal, that was navigable for several centuries. The origins of the canal and its navigability are due to the “Guerra dell’acqua” (water war) between Vicenza and Padua. Vicenza, in the 12th century, needed to connect with the Adriatic Sea to supply itself with salt and other essential products. The most used route was the Bacchiglione river that passed through Padua. Around 1115 Vicenza agreed with Padua to obtain the right of way to reach the sea.
However, it seems that the Padovans, disregarded the pact sometime later, preventing transit on their territory, even by land. Thus, in 1141 the disputes between the Paduans and the Vicentines began, which would then have endured in bloody battles until the beginning of the fifteenth century, concluding only with the passage of the two cities under the control of the Serenissima, the Republic of Venice. With the Venetian conquest and the peaceful subjugation of the Vicenza area to the Venetian Republic, the Bisatto canal was rearranged to facilitate navigation along the entire stretch, from Longare to Monselice passing through Albettone and Este.