art and crafts
Barbier (Barber): derives from the presence of barbers' shops. The art of Barbieri was united with that of the Parrucchieri (hairdressers). The former took care of men's beards, while the latter were only concerned with hair. Interestingly, hairdressers had no great job, until fashion wigs became popular, because both men and women used to take care of their hair by themselves.
Bombardieri (Bombers): derives from the presence of the headquarters of the brotherhood of the Bombardieri, who took care of artillery during the battles Venice was involved in, and for the rest fo the time played a role similar to the current traffic wardens.
Caffettier (Coffee trader): from the presence of coffee shops. The Caffettieri, who traded in rum, coffee, ice and liqueurs, and the Acquavitai, who traded in spirits, belonged to the same congregation.
Calderer (Boiler maker): derives from the presence of a boiler workshops, which owners belonged to the congregation of blacksmiths. The Caldierari were engaged in the production of copper boilers and pots for cooking polenta, a local food made of boiled corn flour.
Carrozze (Carriages): from the Carozzeri craftsmanship. They produced carriages, mostly used outside the city. They belonged to the same congregation as Seleri, manufacturers of saddles, Tapezieri, who created upholstery for chairs and sofas, and Bolzeri, who produced luggage, bags and trunks.
Casselleria (Chest shop): from the presence of a shop casseleri, who produced boxes for merchandise transportation, and casselle, i.e. ebony chests, adorned with ivory and nacre, used to store the bridal trousseau.
Cereri (Wax merchants): merchants and manufacturers of wax objects. They were part of the same congregation as the Spezieri da Grosso, whose job was to prepare sweets, usually made of almonds, pears and other fruits, covered with sugar and honey. The Cereri, on their side, were able to produce such accurate wax imitations of those sweets, as to make it difficult to tell them from the real ones.
Coltrera (Blanket workshop): from the presence of blanket workshops; the Coltreri belonged to the same congregation as Fustagneri, who produced and sold cotton and moleskin, located in the church of San Bortolomio.
Cordaria (Rope workshop): from the presence of a series of workshops of Cordaroli, who produced ropes and cables. They belonged to the same congregation as Filocanevi, who produced hemp strings and ropes, an activity that was allowed to Venice citizens only, because the Venetian Republic held the monopoly of hemp import from the Caspian Sea.
Felzi (Ferns): old roofs of gondolas, produced by the Felzeri. The name seems to derive from the fact that during the summer, instead of covering them with fabric, ferns were used for keeping cooler the gondola interior.
Ferali (Lamps): from the presence of lamp workshops, produced by the Feraleri. Given the particular nature of the city, for the safety of people walking at night, the Senate gradually extended the presence of lamps and lanterns (called cesendeli), paid with the contributions of all citizens, in all of the streets. The Feraleri and the Peteneri de Testa, who produced and sold combs, were parte of the same congregation.
Fiubera (Buckle workshops): from the presence of shops of Fiuberi, who manufactured buckles, used to adorn men's shoes, and by the Centureri, for the production of belts for men and women (the latter called Cao), made of precious materials such as gold and silver, or of leather.
Formagier (Cheese vendor): FROM the presence of cheese vendor's shops. The Formaggeri were allowed to branch from the Casaroli from a certain point in time, because for a long time the profession was subject to monopoly and allowed only in some specific areas of the city.
Forner (Baker): the most important occupation of the Forneri, at that time, was to bake bread in the ovens, then sell it. Often noble families also used the bakeries to bake their own home-made bread.
Fruttarol (Greengrocer): from the presence of Grocery stores. The Fruttaroli, whose job was to sell fruit and eggs, were united with the Naranzeri, selling oranges and citrus fruits, and with Erbaroli, selling vegetables.
Furatola (Friggitoria): small shops held by Furatoleri, selling fried foods. Given the strong rivalry with the Luganegheri, some kinds of food could not be sold in the furatole, because they were of exclusive pertinence of Luganegheri, neither could be served wine or cheese. The furatole also could not be operated by priests or clerks.
Mandoler (Almond traders): the Mandoleri sold almonds and dried fruit, and produced almond oil. They were united with the Spezieri da Grosso, who prepare cakes, usually made with almonds, pears and other fruits, and covered with sugar and honey.
Manganer (Cloth polishers): the Manganeri were responsible for polishing cloths of wool and silk. The name comes from the mangano, that is the tool used for polishing cloths and garments, made of large stones, and moved by means of winches.
Marangon (Carpenter): carpenters had great importance in Venice, where for a long time houses , bridges and ships were built on wood. The Marangoni were subdivided according to their tasks in Marangoni da Case, who took care of buildings, Marangoni da Noghera, who took care of furniture, Marangoni da Soaze, who built frames (soaze), Marangoni da Rimessi, who worked of veneers, and Marangoni da Nave, who worked at the city's Arsenale for the construction of large Venetian ships. Given their importance, even the bell that sounded the working start time in the city was called Marangona.
Margaritera (Daisy traders): comes from the craft of the Margariteri, who for a period of time were associated with the Perleri, whose job was to build and sell various items such as flowers and necklaces made of enameled or painted glass.
Mercanti (Merchants): one of the most important professions, practiced throughout the life of the Venetian Republic. The merchants were subdivided into various subcategories depending on the goods traded, from wood to wine, from silk to oil and many more.
Murer (Mason): very skilled professionals from ancient times, who uses wood and stone from Istria in such a combination and technique that even today the town houses are very solid, although build on a ground that is far from stable.
Oresi (Goldsmiths): comes from the craft of the Orefici, who were united with Zoielieri (jewelers) and the Diamanteri. As for a certain period of time the Oresi were only allowed to hold shops in the Rialto area, most of the profession grew up around this area.
Parrucchier (Hairdresser): the art of Parrucchieri was united with that of the Barbieri (barbers). The former took care of men's hair, while the latter were only concerned with beards. Interestingly, hairdressers had no great job, until fashion wigs became popular, because both men and women used to take care of their hair by themselves.
Pignate (Pots): from the presence of a shop owned by a Pignater (pot maker). This craft was united to that of the Bocaleri (mug makers) and Squeleri (bowl makers), and was concerned of production and sale of pots and pans, dishes and lids.
Sartori (Tailors): from the craft of tailoring. For a period, they were divided according to the kind of garments they produced, so there were the Sartori da Veste, who produced dresses, the Sartori da Calza, who produced trousers, and the Sartori da Ziponi, who produced coats and jackets.
Scaleter (Confectioner): from the craft of donut production, a kind of pastry similar to the current one. Those craftsmen were called Scalateri from the typical sweet that they produced, made of thin wafer, and decorated with tiny steps like a staircase.
Spezier (Chemist): the Speziere can be considered similar to a pharmacist, since its job consisted in the preparation and sale of medicines. Among these, the most renowned one was called Triaca or Teriaca, made from countless ingredients, and prepared according to strict and well controlled rules. Due to this, Venice was recognised as a city producing the finest quality of this medicine, that was therefore requested by many foreign countries. The Spezieri, for a period of time, were united with the Spezieri da Grosso, whose job was to prepare sweets, usually made of almonds, pears and other fruits, covered with sugar and honey.
Strazze (Junk): comes from the craft of the Strazarioli, who traded in used items. The trade was strictly regulated, to prevent unfair competition by unofficial traders. They did not have the permission to trade in rags, though.
Tapezier (Upholsterer): the Tapezieri produced and sold the upholstery for sofas and armchairs, and were united to Seleri, who took care of saddles, and Bolzeri, who took care of luggage, bags and trunks.
Tintori (Dyers): The Dyers were responsible for coloring silks, linens and fabrics in general. The technique for preparing dyes was jealously guarded for centuries by the representatives of the profession.
■ mb, 2014-04-04
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