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maritime traffic in the XVIII century

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Carlo Anselmi
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The subject of the study are two maritime registers kept in the historical archives of the municipality of Marciana on the island of Elba. Drawn up around 1750 by the Maritime Health Officer the registers record all arrivals and departures, along with useful indications for a quantitative analysis of the coastal navigation of small size ships. The results show quite a lively traffic and confirm what was already known from various historical sources: there was a strong polarization of trade. In particular it can be seen that wine represented about three-quarters of the exports and grain about half of the imports. There is evidence too of the strong commercial link with Genoa, which absorbed most of the wine exports. The data examined also allow a fairly accurate estimate of the journey times, particularly on the routes to Genoa.