Hidden treasures

The festival of Shrove Thursday in St. Mark's Square in Venice

Local Traditions
Giovedi_Grasso

The festival of Shrove Thursday in St. Mark's Square in Venice

In Venice, at the time of the Doges, the numerous celebrations of the Carnival were very spectacular.

On the day of Shrove Thursday a kind of wooden machine was set up in Piazzetta San Marco, facing the Doge's Palace, from which colourful fireworks were fired in the evening and also some acrobats demonstrated their ability by performing the ‘forces of Hercules', a sort of human pyramid that rose above a board mounted on benches, while others descended from St Mark's bell tower on cables connected to the dock and the loggia of the Doge's Palace, to complete their flight directly in front of the doge who watched the festivities from the one of the building's windows.

On that occasion, as we can see in this painting by Francesco Guardi in the second half of the 18th century, which is  now preserved in the Louvre, a large crowd of villagers crowded in the Piazzetta around the fireworks machine to watch the show, while the nobles and other important guests took a seat in the wooden stand, which was set up at the foot of the Doge's Palace.

If you want to get a better idea of what the ‘forces of Hercules' were and you cannot go to the Louvre, at the Correr Museum in St. Mark's Square, in the room dedicated to games, you can see a model of this amazing skill and balance feat.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
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

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Venice: April 25, 2020: Five fun ideas to celebrate the Patron Saint of Venice at home! #stayhome

Untitled
Local Traditions

April 25 is a day of great celebrations in Venice: not only is it Liberation Day, but it is also the Feast of St. Mark, patron of the c...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
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

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View