Hidden treasures

The name of the church of the Madonna della Fava in Venice

Local Traditions
SMdellaFava

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.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View