Nizioleti di Venezia

to discover

art and crafts

in Venezia

Artistic place 9

CAMPO DEI MORI

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This unique square’s name derives from the three statues set in the ancient walls of the square. The three statues represent three dark-skinned oriental men (Moors), who were three brothers: Rioba, Sandi and Afani, of the Mastelli del Cammello family who built the entire area.

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A fourth man stands a bit apart from the others on the quay

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The three brothers were called Mastelli because they “had thousands of tubs of gold coins”. Of the three statues, the most famous is that of Sior Antonio Rioba; in the 19th century, the statue lost its nose, and was replaced with a piece of iron. From that time on, a legend grew that rubbing his nose would bring luck

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According to another tradition, one of the brothers’ activities was banking, through which they defrauded a very devout Venetian woman who prayed to Santa Maria Maddalena to curse the three merchants. As a result, the Mastelli brothers turned into stone statues, which were placed in an alcove in Campo dei Mori as a warning to anyone who saw them. On the quay, at the foot of the bridge is a large 15th-century Gothic house that was the home of the painter Tintoretto, and where he died in 1594

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A short distance away, a bas-relief on the façade of Palazzo Mastelli (on Rio della Madonna dell’Orto) shows a turbaned man, wearing oriental clothing and leading a camel, which refers to the family’s spice trade/treks/l-arte-delle-decorazioni/campo-dei-mori/dscn7088.jpg

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The inside of the palazzo has a well head and interesting colonnades

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while the square also has a well head, a patera and a capital:

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From the square, you can enter the splendid Church of Madonna dell'Orto with its unique herringbone churchyard pavement

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Artigianservizi   Camera di Commercio Venezia   Confartigianato Venezia

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