Dorsoduro-Venetian Floating Markets and the Ponte dei Pugni in Venice

October 27, 2018 11:18 pm72 commentsViews: 298

Dorsoduro-Venetian Floating Markets and the Ponte dei Pugni

Today, Dorsoduro is a pleasant artistic area surrounding the Accademia, Venice’s art gallery. It can be reached by taking the vaporetto to either the Accademia or Ca Rezzonico stop.

Once the home of impoverished venetian aristocrats, it is still a desirable district for the slightly better off venetian well to do. Its canals are pleasant places to walk, with many shops selling unusual souvenirs such as wooden carved toys. Particularly notable are the areas’ floating market stalls where fresh fruit and vegetables are sold off the backs of colourful canal barges.

Today the area is peaceful but the Rio San Barnaba has relics of a violent past –particularly the most famous of Venice’s so called fighting bridges- the Ponte dei Pugni. Up until, 1705 this small bridge spanning the canal was the venue for venetian factions to meet up and settle their differences.

For the benefit of sightseers, two sets of white stone footprints have been added to the bridge to mark the traditional starting positions for fighter. Balustrades have also been added so that no one unwittingly ends up in the canal. This was often the fate of loosing fighters-often with fatal consequences.

Cannaregio-The World’s First Ghetto

The Cannaregio district of Venice is home to the world’s first Jewish ghetto. It takes its name from the foundry or geto which occupied the small island that the council of ten forced all Jews to move to in 1516. Space was so limited that the residents had to build upwards, creating the so called ‘skyscrapers of venice. It was not until 1866 that Venetian Jews were allowed to live outside its gates.

Today, the ghetto is still home to a small Jewish community, which helps it retain a genuine atmosphere. Visitors can wander its streets with shops selling kosher goods and trinkets or take a guided tour of the district, including the synagogues and the small museum of the areas’ history.

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