Walking around Venice with an exceptional guide. The added value of our premium activities
The goal of Italy4golf has always been to offer international golfers top-level golf tourism solutions, different from the classic golf breaks, and therefore full of premium activities that allow you to really get to know Italy and to experience the emotions that only the Bel Paese can give.
That’s why we have selected partners who share the same values and enthusiasm as we do. Among these is certainly Emanuele Ginocchi, a true Venetian in love with his city, a tour guide who has at heart not only the culture and history of magical Venice but who also thoroughly knows its traditions and many secrets.
We asked him to write few lines to give us a taste of what it means to participate in the premium tour we offer in our Experience “See Venice … and play golf!“.
That’s what he sent us!
“Hello everyone, I’m Emanuele Ginocchi, authorized guide of Venice and Italy4golf Ambassador. Today I will reveal two characteristic Venetian curiosities, namely the history of the “Pissotte” and the “Codega”.
In many corners of Venice, there are peculiar mortar flows commonly called “Gobbette” and many of the tourists I accompanied through the streets of Venice have asked me their purpose. There are about a hundred of them (certainly in the past they were many more) and they are called “Pissotte” (same origin as “to piss”) or “Gobbe Antibandito” (Anti-bandit hump), depending on the historical version analyzed.
Let’s start with the most Venetian, but also the nicest, of the two names: Pissotte.
According to some historical source, these pours of mortar (which at times could also be in Istrian stone or wrought iron) were simply built to maintain the public decor, to avoid transforming the corners of the city into real public toilets: urinating on an inclined plane caused the risk of receiving all the splashes! From here these ornaments took the name of “Pissotte” or, sometimes, “Pissabraghe” (literally “piss-a-breeches”).
We come now to perhaps the most important meaning: Gobbe Antibandito.
Before the invention of public lighting, Venice was completely dark at night and walking down the street at late hours could be very dangerous, especially in a city of merchants where money and precious objects circulated in large quantities. The criminals, therefore, used to hide in the many corners and crevices of the narrow streets of Venice to suddenly pop out and attack a passer-by and rob him. So it was to defeat crime and lower the number of night killings that the Serenissima Republic imposed the construction of these “Anti-bandit humps”.
The figure of the Codega also fits into this context of “security”. He simply was a servant who lit up the way to the Venetian nobles during the night.
To understand his purpose, however, it is necessary to go backwards with the history of the Republic of Venice, which since the twelfth century began to implement a series of measures to contain night-time crime in the city. It starts with the “Cesendeli“, candles or small oil lamps hung on the wall in the darkest corners. It then continues in the fourteenth century, when the number of infantry in charge of controlling and maintaining public safety increased. In the fifteenth century, it was the placement of large lamps under the arcades of the Rialto and the obligation to have a lamp for night walks.
And this is precisely how the figure of Codega was born. Normally a role played by poor people willing to gain some money by illuminating the way to patricians around the city. Obviously, by doing this it is easy to imagine that the Codega often happened to catch gossip and secrets of the couples he accompanied. And that is why he was also called “Snot holder” (initially intended as “Candleholder“) or even “The third wheel“, and here the meaning does not need further explanation …
With this small glimpse on the history of Venice, I guess to make you understand how any stone or brick of this millenary city always hides a curious story and anecdote!
I hope to be able to accompany you shortly on an adventure to discover my Venice …
See you soon!
Take a look at the premium activities of the Experience “See Venice… and play golf!“. 9 days for a rich golf holiday in Venice, with 3 iconic and historical Golf Clubs, hospitality at Villa Condulmer (resort 5*), but also art and history of Venice and Verona, Wine and Food tours in the areas of Prosecco and Valpolicella and the unmissable day-long cruise in the lagoon on historic boats!