La Littorina del Mincio
Food, bicycles and fishing
Not just food, not only an innovative service for the cycle path and sport fishing, but also a space for culture and memory
It was the second half of the nineteenth century when the foundations were laid for the railway that was to connect the city of Mantua to Peschiera del Garda. The line was inaugurated close to the summer of 1934. From that moment the "littorina", a typical 1930s convoy that takes its name from its railcar, slides parallel to the course of the Mincio river, intersecting the lives of those who make it a vehicle to go to school or work, or to pass the time on a trip out of town; it slides along the left bank, intertwines with the beauty of this landscape and with the historical events of which it is the scene. […] The Ministry of Transport then decrees the progressive decommissioning of the line in 1966, replacing the rail service with the road service. From the last race, the sections of the railway are removed, leaving room for an involuntary transformation that is triggered in the territory, which sees the use of this route change from railway to cycle path. Inaugurated in 2000, the Mincio cycle path becomes part of the EuroVelo 7 track, welcoming visitors from all over the world every year, showing a significant growth towards cultural and eco-sustainable tourism.
La Littorina del Minciowith its presence wants to tell about the memory of these places, like a crystallized frame that holds a story that we heard from the mouths of our fathers and grandparents. So not just food, not just an innovative service for the cycle path and sport fishing, but also a space for culture and memory. The gaze follows the escape line of the embankment towards the former Salionze station where the tracks ran, a rediscovered historical sign that wants to be evoked and transmitted to the future, a time that we look at with positivity and optimism, and that we want to interpret by giving a service along what has become one of the busiest cycling infrastructures in Europe.
[The historical notes are taken from A. Muratori, The Mantua-Peschiera Railway, GRAF, 1975]