Funicolare di Montenero [Funicular of Montenero]
Montenero is a hill situated inland of the city of Livorno, with a sanctuary dating to the 14th century on top. The only means of transportation for pilgrims for more than half a century, the funicular connects the Sanctuary to the Piazza delle Carrozze below. It was built in 1906 by the Livorno Electrical Traction Company, inaugurated two years later, and was the first electrically run funicular in Italy. The Livorno Electrical Traction Company ran the funicular until 1972 when its management was transferred to the urban transport authority of Livorno.
The panoramic one-rail route (which doubles only for the short tract where the two cars exchange) spans a drop of 111 metres with maximum slopes of 18%, for a length of 656 metres, and passes over gardens and old villas. In 1990, its function was completely automated and all motion commands computerised, without a driver on board, and with a single control facility at the uphill station. In 1999, several operations were carried out which, though maintaining the old charm of this delightful means of transportation, brought innovation from both the technological and environmental viewpoints, thanks to the use of alternative and renewable energy sources.
Texts by Francesca Romana Guglielmi
English translation by Victor Beard
Last update 16/gen/2008