The name of the church of the Madonna della Fava in VeniceLocal Traditions
The name of the church of the Madonna della Fava in Venice
Between the Rialto Bridge and St Mark's Square in Venice, there is a small eighteenth-century church, named after a funny story: Santa Maria della Fava. The real name is really Lady of Consolation, because it was built in the early sixteenth century in the vicinity of a building where there is a miraculous sacred image on the wall, on which the worshippers could find ‘consolation'.
Le fave dei morti are small round cakes still eaten today and made with almond paste and sometimes with chocolate, which can be found only on the days before 2nd November, the day of commemoration of the dead.
The origin of this cake is related to the centuries old custom, at least in some parts of Italy, of eating fava beans during banquets that were held by the relatives of the deceased immediately after the funeral.
According to an ancient tradition, fava beans were a means of direct communication between the worlds of the dead and the living because they were considered able to transfer in living beings the souls of the departed. In fact, they were present in the funeral ceremonies in Greece, Egypt, Rome and even in India and Peru.
If you found this article interesting and would like to know more about the most curious sides of the city, book a personalized tour of Venice with our guide Francesca, editor of this popular section.
Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima
Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...View
Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice
Did you know that...
Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...View
Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave
Did you know that...
Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...View