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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How to avoid eternal bad luck

Dear readers,

Today I want to share with you some history of my beautiful Venice.
And also a "did you know?",  that probably you will be happy to discover, if you are supersticious.

Positioned at the entrance of the walking area towards the pier and the San Marco basin  there are two pillars in pink marble and granite.

Looking almost like a door, they mark the entrance into the magnificent Piazza San Marco, Saint Mark Square.

All the tourist walk between the two columns, but I always wonder if they know the history of those two columns. My guess is not, as a Venetian will never do that and probably, you will neither probably after you read this blog.

The two columns represent the two saints of Venice: Saint Mark, in the shape of the winged Lion symbolizing the Serenissima Republic and San Todaro, Teodoro, the protector of the city.

The origin of the two columns is part of many discussions. Some believe that they were brought from Constantinople to the second half of the twelfth century and that in reality they were three.
It is said that one felt into the lagoon's water during the landing operations, sinking into the sludge that made it impossible to recover.
Others people believe that they were brought in 1125 by Domenico Michiel, returning from one of his expeditions to the Holy Land.
One thing that is certain, is that the columns remained lying down on the ground for a long time. Due to their excessive weight and size, it was impossible  for the technology of the time, to make them stand in the vertical position.

Only in 1172 Nicolò Barattieri managed to find a way to raise them. With a very ingenious system of wetted ropes that acted as tie rods, he was able to lift the columns. While drying the rods did gradually stretched, lifting the columns in vertical position.

The column that stands out on the side of Palazzo Ducale holds a very ancient bronze sculpture that represent
the winged lion, symbol of San Marco, since 862 patron saint and symbol of the city and the Venetian state.

On the side of the Marciana Library the column holds the marble statue of San Teodoro, a Byzantine saint and warrior,  first protector of the city, depicted in the act of killing a dragon.


Under the two columns, in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and till the mid-eighteenth century, the space between the two stalks was used as a place of capital executions.

So much so that the superstitious custom still persists in the local population in Venice,  not to cross the space between the columns, as it bring eternal bad luck.

Perfect view on the Clock Tower 

From this tradition derives some expressions in Venetian dialect:
"Te fasso veder mi che ora che xe’" (I'll show you, what time it is), as a threat, derived from the fact that the condemned to death, with their backs to the basin of San Marco, saw the clock on the Tower as the last thing.
"Esser fra Marco e Todaro" (To be between Marco and Teodoro), which describes the condition of those who stagger between opposing difficulties with no way out.

So if you follow the tradition to kiss your loved one under every bridge in Venice for eternal love, maybe you should consider now also not to walk between the two columns to avoid eternal bad luck!!

True or not true, better to be safe than sorry.

From Venice With Love,


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  1. This is so interesting!! And if I ever go to beautiful Venice, I will heed your warning!

    1. Thank you so much dear Stella for reading the BLOG and for you feed back!!! I hope you can go and visit Venice soon Much Love, Giada

  2. Grazie thanks you so much.....I won't be going there till this summer but I'm ready already....always great to go back home . Thank you for reading my BLOG . Giada

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