The bridge takes its name from the boxing mathes occurring here between the two factions, Castellani and Nicolotti, into which was divided Venice. On either side of the bridge are still visible the footsteps, carved in stone of Istria, from where the fighters were to start. Since at the time the bridge had no banisters, the animosity too often led the fighting parties to fall into the canal, where they necessarily parted and gave up fighting.
The city's division into two factions has two different theories: the first goes back to the ancient rivalry between the inhabitants of Eraclea and Jesolo, which continued even when both populations moved to the islands of the lagoon from which Venice would then be formed. The other one is related to the killing of the bishop of Castello at the hands of Nicolotti. The Castellani were the inhabitants of the eastern parts of the city whose outer edges are those of the Castello district, and used to wear a distinctive red hat and scarf, while the Nicolotti were the inhabitants of the western parts, ending at S. Nicolò dei Mendicoli, and used to wear a black hat and scarf.



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