Hidden treasures

The hunchback of Rialto in Venice in San Giacometto Square

Unknown places & works

The hunchback of Rialto in Venice in San Giacometto Square

Next to the Rialto Bridge in Venice, there is an old medieval church (it is said to be the oldest in the city), the church of San Giacometto, which overlooks a famous square, which was once a strategic place, the heart of the financial centre of the Republic of Venice because valuable goods were traded here and countless business affairs undertaken. Given the importance of this square, here, as in St Mark's Square, ‘notices were shouted', that is, the most important decisions of the state of Venice and the death sentences were announced.

There is still in fact the Piera del Bando, a kind of small stage from which the messenger read the documents. To climb onto this stone a small ladder wad used, which is supported by a sixteenth century sculpture, representing a kneeling man and this has always been referred to as ‘the Hunchback of Rialto'.

Those who were sentenced to the flogging penalty began their punishment in the Piazzetta of St Mark's, between the columns which support Marco and Todaro, crossing Mercerie and the Rialto Bridge, whipped and beaten by all those who thronged the streets, until they arrived in the area of San Giacomo of Rialto and in front of the Hunchback, where the torture ended.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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