art and crafts
The Merceria (haberdashery) or Marzaria San Salvador is a section of the street leading from Rialto to San Marco (the other haberdashery areas further along are “San Giuliano” in the square and adjoining church, and “dell'Orologio” at the clock tower in Piazza San Marco. In the past, there was also Merceria di San Bartolomeo which is now known by a different name since it was widened to become Via Due Aprile. The merceria takes its name from the many haberdasheries present in the area since ancient times. The haberdashers founded their association in ancient times, but were only officially recognised as an association with its own statutes in the mid-1400s with its official seat at the Church of San Zulian. In 1452, the haberdashers, together with the other trades, celebrated the arrival of Emperor Frederick III by building two magnificent barges that transported a tower decorated with silk and topped with three rows of cherubs dressed in white, and a huge wheel with eight cherubs that rotated with it. This was also the first street in Venice to have its brick pavements replaced with cobbles in Istrian stone (called "masegni").
The street was used to enter Piazza dai Patriarchi, by the Procurators and the Chancellors. It is said that when the procurators of the Republic passed, the merchants would decorate their shops as best they could, displaying their finest goods, receiving sweets from the Procurators as thanks.