Saturday, May 14, 2016
Legends of my hometown Venice: el Sior Rioba
This legend of Venice is set in the district of Canareggio, particularly in Campo dei Mori, where you’ll find the Mastelli Palace of the Camel. Along the walls of this building you will find 4 stone statues embedded in the wall.
Legend tells of three brothers who fled from Greece (called in those at times Morea, inhabited precisely by the Moors, so called because of their dark skin) Rioba, Sandi and Afani and their servant.
Once in Venice, the three brothers with their servant, called themselves “ Mastelli” which later became the name of the palace. They were skilled cloth merchants, but also rascals and swindlers deceiving and stealing money from those who turned to them for business.
Tired of their behavior, St. Mary Magdalene decided to punish them. One day went by the three brothers, in disguise, to buy from them some fabrics.
The three villains were eager to deceive such a naive lady. So they were raving about the cotton fabric as the best quality fabric and sumptuous Venetian so to justify the exorbitant price they we asking.
It is said that the “Sior Rioba”, one of three brothers,addressing the Lady said “This is the best yarn of Venice and May the Lord transform us into stone if we do not tell the truth!”. After these words the woman, paid the exorbitant sum requested and before leaving she said, “I thank you so much gentlemen! May the Lord have towards you the same care and attention that you had for me.”
Suddenly that the three merchants with their servant were turned into stone.
Of the three statues the most famous is that of Rioba, just called in Venetian dialect “Sior Rioba”. It is also said that during particularly cold nights the spirit of the Sior Rioba trapped in the statue cry and the beating of his heart can be felt by those pure in spirit if they put a hand in his chest.
In 1800 the statue of “Sior Rioba” lost his nose that was replaced with an iron nose and since then it is said that to touch his nose brings good luck.
And next door you will find the house where famous painter Tintoretto lived. Every corner in Venice has a story.
To read more visit www.giadavalenti.com
From Venice With Love,
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