But, as Professor Ernesto Grillo (an Italian lecturing in Literature at Glasgow University) pointed out as early as 1949 in his Shakespeare and Italy, people travelled round Italy by an extensive network of canals.
Here’s a painting of one…..
Shakespeare’s other famous ‘mistake’ was to claim that Tranio’s father (in The Taming of the Shrew) was a ‘sail maker’ from land-locked Bergamo. People had forgotten about the Italian lakes. There is a boat building industry in Bergamo to this day!
Here is one of its latest products….
So Shakespeare’s mistakes were never mistakes at all.
In fact, the third Earl of Southampton was so taken with Italian canals that in 1611 he dug a canal on his own land at Titchfield, only the second canal in England…
It clearly never flourished, so Titchfield today is almost as it was in Shakespeare’s time.
This is South Street….