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Around the year 1000 Forlì was located on a sort of island, bordered by the Motone and Rabbi rivers.
The tradition says that to remedy the frequent floods that devastated the city, the urban branch of the Rabbi was regimented to create the Ravaldino Canal.
During the medieval period the entire stretch of the channel flowed in the open, except the point where it touched the Municipality building anf the Signoria, where it was covered in 1459 by order of Cecco III Ordelaffi, giving rise to the portico which still exists today.

At the time of Caterina Sforza, as well as feeding the moat of the Rocca di Ravaldino and having functions related to the daily life of the population, the channel was used for mills and factories to impart motive power to millstones and shovels.
Defined by the historian Gianluca Brusi the “backbone of the city”, in the last century the channel was almost entirely covered, except in the short stretch where it still runs in the open air under a modern building in via del Canale (di Ravaldino), next to the San Luigi room, in via Luigi Nanni.
From the Fiumana lock on the Predappio hills, to the junction with the Bidente river at Coccolia, towards Ravenna, the Ravaldino Canal has a total length of about 23 kilometers.

The difference in height between the entrance to the walls of Ravaldino and the exit to the walls of Pelacano is 12.48 m.
With appropriate safety measures, it could return to its city part for 1,895 meters, crossing Forlì underground, from Porta Ravaldino to the northeastern end of the historic center (via della Grata).