Thursday, May 26, 2016
I Pozzi "The Wells" of Venice
Venice was surrounded by salt water but did not had drinking water, so they built wells to collect rainwater.
The wellhead, "vera da pozzo", is the only exposed part of the well system in Venice and it is a typical Venetian word that represent the visible stone that covers the well itsel. The wellhead served as a cap on the well to prevent debris from falling into the well and contaminating the fresh water supply. Some of these " vere" show effigy of the family that built them. The largest one is located in campo San Polo and measures 320 cm in diameter (10 ft.). They were a centerpiece of many public squares in Venice and were always at the center of socialization and interactivity among Venetians. Churches were once responsible for locking and unlocking the well at certain times of the day to prevent just anyone from retrieving water from the well at any given time.
in 1858 the Municipal Technical Office of Venice estimated the presence in the city of nearly 7,000 wells.
But after after the aqueduct construction in 1884 many wells were destroyed.
Today Venice has about 600 wells, of which none is in use. Some of them are true magical treasures in some beautiful quiet campielli (little squares) all around Venice. A lot of them are private but you still can see them from the closed gates.
From Venice With Love,
#giadavalenti #FromVeniceWithLoveTour #PBS #Venice