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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Venice Fun fact of the day: Il Gobbo di Rialto

Il Gobbo di Rialto, The hunchback of Rialto, opposite the Church of San Giacomo, has an intriguing history. Dating back to 1541 it was originally intended as a place of official proclamation. It is in fact known as the Column of Proclamations. But it was also used as the finishing point for a punishment for minor crimes: the guilty party would be stripped naked and made to run the streets from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto, saving themselves further humiliation by kissing the statue. By the 19th century in 1836, the statue was restored with funds provided by the civic authorities. The block above the hunchback's head now bears a Latin inscription with the date of the restoration.
From Venice With Love,
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