The first submarine to have been built in Italy after world war two, the "Enrico Toti", (built in 1967 and named after an Italian hero of world war one), has found a new home in the Leonardo da Vinci Museum for Science and Technology in Milan. It was designed to search for and track enemy vessels in the Mediterranean during the Cold War. The submarine was decommissioned in 1999 and was supposed to be displayed in the Milanese Science museum since 2001. The problem was how to get it there. The vessel was taken by sea from the naval base in Puglia to Cremona, the last navigable port on the river Po. Here, the Milanese authorities prepared for the final leg of the journey. To move the 46 m-long, 536-ton vessel by road has taken four years of planning and cost 1 million. The final journey took six nights. Milan, semi-deserted for the summer holidays, had been specially prepared: traffic lights and roundabouts were temporarily removed and drains, bridges, underground tunnels and canals reinforced to take the strain of the enormous weight. Tram lines were covered and branches removed from trees where the giant load was to pass.
The whole journey ran smoothly and people turned out in their thousands to see the "Enrico Toti" pass. By Monday 15 August the submarine was home. The vessel will now be prepared for visitors and is due be opened to the public, inside and out, from 7 December.
For information see www.museoscienza .org.