CAMPIELLO ALLO SPIRITO SANTO
In the area were built in late 1400, by Maria Caroldo, a nun of St. Catherine in Venice, a church and a convent of Augustinian nuns dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
The nun was the protagonist, a few years later, of an episode of bad behavior. She was accused by another nun to maintain relations with both a priest and other men, and to use for her own purposes the conspicuous wealth of the community.
Initially convicted, she appealed and there is no certain information that she really served the sentence. Many other scandals are documented in this adn later periods in the same convent. It was a situation very common in other convents of the city between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The Campiello, located behind the campo and the foundations of the Holy Spirit alle zattere, has two ancient plaques bearing edicts and sentences against blasphemers, together with the names of who was responsible executing the sentences..
The Republic was always very sensitive to condemn and punish blasphemers. By the middle of 1200 was promulgated a law which provided for a monetary penalty for those guilty of blasphemy. As the habit was die hard, the pain over the centuries got harder and harder: in 1500 was introduced corporal punishment, such as cutting the tongue, and was set up a dedicated institution, the Esecutori contro la Bestemmia (Executors agains Blasphemy), to fight this crime.
One particular sentence was due to blaspheme priests: they were locked in a cheba (colloquial term used today to indicate the jail cell), a small cage hanging from the bell tower St. Mark's, in which they were forced to stay for a lifetime, exposed day and night. Food that was recovered by a basket lowered by a rope, the same way used by elderly ladies to bring home the food that was delivered under their windows.
If you are in the Campiello when the door of a branch of the Academy of Fine Arts is open, you can admire the garden and its well-head