Hidden treasures

The engraving of the pope asleep at St Aponal in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

The engraving of the pope asleep at St Aponal in Venice

In St Aponal Square, in the San Polo district in Venice, there is a small covered walkway – (in Venetian dialect sottoportego) - decorated with a piece of wood with a curious engraving depicting a pope asleep; this image is linked to a legend ...

When Pope Alexander III, in 1177, came to Venice to sign a peace treaty with the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa, fearing a plot from the emperor to eliminate him, he spent the night here instead of going to the nearby Patriarchal Palace.

Perhaps the Pope chose this sottoportego because it was near a house that belonged to the Templars, the famous warrior-monks keepers of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which at that time were the bodyguards of the Pope.

In the inner walls of the sottoportego you can read Templars inscriptions and it is also said that anyone who recites here the Our Father or Hail Mary, will have a full indulgence for all their sins.

If you want to know other fascinating anecdotes about Venice and see firsthand the places described, our brilliant guide Francesca organizes private and costumized tours to suit your needs!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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