Tag: tradition

April 25th: St. Mark and the “bocolo”

In Venice on April 25th the feast is one and only one: the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of the city.

Venice place names: Campi, Campielli, Corti

In Venice there are no streets but calli (with a few exceptions, as we learned here), and it’s just the same for the squares: if you hear about “square”, you can’t help to refer to St. Mark’s Square, the one and only square in Venice.
All the other areas of the road network that in the rest of the world are called squares, in Venice are called Campi (Fields).
On ancient times the campi, as the term suggests, were covered with grass and used for cultivation, with orchards and fruit trees, and sheeps or horses could be found grazing there.
Only recently the campi have been paved, but there is still a testimony of what the fields should look like on the days of the Serenissima: to see it just visit the Campo di San Pietro di Castello, with its meadows and trees.

 

San Pietro di Castello

 

The social meaning of the campo has always been very strong, since Venice is a polycentric city, built on numerous islands that lived a life of their own.
The open space surrounded by houses was a meeting place for the inhabitants, a place where there was a market and overlooked the craft shops.
On the campo there was always a church, with an adjoining cemetery; the function of the campo as a burial place is still indicated in some cases with the presence of an elevated area more than a meter above normal traffic (Napoleon then banned the practice of burial in the campi, moving the cemetery to the current island of San Michele).

 

Campo San Trovato and the former cemetery

 

In the larger campi there were also processions and religious events, as well as tournaments and public speeches.

Even in much more recent times, the campo has been (and still is, even if the depopulation of Venice dramatically has its strong impact) the meeting place of children who played mainly football or other games, such as jumping the rope or going on skates.

 

Campo dei Gesuiti with children playing football

 

The well was another inevitable figure in every campo, and it was the only source of water for the city, before the construction of the aqueduct.
Fortunately you can still admire many real finely worked wells, even if unused (if you want to learn more about the functioning of the wells, read this article).
The campi often owe their name to the churches that rise (or rised) there, but also to important families who lived there or to trades that were carried out in ancient times.

 

When the campo is smaller than usual it is referred to it as Campiello (small field), which is often only a widening of the calle or an appendix to a larger field, and it is usually devoid of well and surrounded by houses.

In the campiello social life was even more typical, because it was just the center of a micro district, where the social fabric of the city was interwoven, with gossip, quarrels and the popular chatter of a lively and crowded city. Carlo Goldoni in his comedy “Il campiello” tells just these habits.The importance of the campiello is also testified by the name given to the important literary prize “Il campiello”, one of the most prestigious and well-known Italian literary prizes.

 

Campiello

 

Even smaller than the campiello is the Corte (courtyard), which usually has only one entrance through a portico or a street sometimes equipped with a gate. In fact, the corte was considered an extension of the house, where you could find women who, during the summer, sitting next to their door, engaged in housework activities such as cleaning fish and vegetables, sewing and embroidery, and the practice of inserting beads into a thread for the manufacture of necklaces, a typical activity that in dialect is called “impiraperle”.

Corte

 

Sources

https://venicewiki.org/wiki/Campo
https://www.innvenice.com/Toponomastica-Venezia.htm
https://venipedia.it/it/campi
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campo_(Venezia)
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campiello
https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corte_(Venezia)

The Redentore Feast in Venice

The Redentore Feast (Redeemer’s Feast) is a traditional feast of Venice: it is celebrated on the third Sunday of July and it is certainly deeply felt by the Venetians.

The Saturday before the third Sunday of July a long votive bridge of boats is opened on the Giudecca Canal connecting the island with the Zattere, thus allowing people to reach the Redentore Church.

 

The Redeemer’s Day is the event that celebrates the building of the Redentore Church by order of the Venetian Senate in 1576 as an ex-vote for the liberation of the city from the plague of 1575. The terrible plague caused the death of more than 50,000 people in just two years.

At the end of the plague, in July 1577, it was decided to celebrate every year the liberation from the plague with a votive deck being set up.

This celebration has become over time a tradition very much felt by the Venetians and it is still very much alive – and it is very healthy, indeed – after almost five centuries.

 

 

The festival is famous (also called “la notte famosissima – the very famous night”) especially for the wonderful fireworks show (“i foghi – the fires”) that takes place the night between Saturday and Sunday on the San Marco basin, which for the occasion is closed to normal navigation and welcomes the boats of the many Venetians who pour into the dock to eat, drink, dance and spend a night together.

 

Vogalonga 2017 – 43rd edition

Only three days to the 43rd edition of the Vogalonga here in Venice!

Vogalonga is a rowing regatta in the Italian city of Venice.

On November 11th, 1974 a group of Venetians, both amateur and professional rowers, had a race. They came up with an idea of non-competitive “race” in which any kind of rowing boat could participate, in the spirit of historical festivities. The first Vogalonga began the next year with the message to protest against the growing use of powerboats in Venice and the swell damage they do to the historic city.

Participants gather in St Marks Basin in front of the ducal palace. The racecourse is scenic route 30 kilometers long along the various Venetian canals and historical buildings, and reach islands like Sant’Erasmo, Burano and Murano.

At the this first edition there were about 1.500 riders.

The following editions Vogalonga gradually increased consensus and participation, reaching over 8,000 members this year (absolute record), with regattas coming from around the world and with all kinds of rowing boats.

Each participant receives a commemorative medal and a certificate of participation.

Thanks to www.vogalonga.com

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