Hidden treasures

The engraving of the pope asleep at St Aponal in Venice

Mysteries & Legends
Papa-addormentato

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

Latest posts

Venice: Mozart in Venice

mozart
Big Names

There is no doubt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Vienna 1791) is one of the greatest musicians of all time... It is not su...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View

Venice: The perfect city of Alvisopoli in Fossalta di Portogruaro

alvisopoli
Unknown places & works

The province of Venice is full of hidden jewels that really deserve to be discovered! One of these is Alvisopoli, a small village in Fo...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Treviso: Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso

casa-dei-carraresi-treviso
Historical Curiosities

One of the most famous places of the city of Treviso is the so-called Casa dei Carraresi, which takes its name from the noble family of...

View

Vicenza: The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

santa-corona
Unknown places & works

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the preci...

View

Venice: The Ghost of the Biennale Gardens in Venice

Statua_zolli
Mysteries & Legends

At the entrance of the Biennale Gardens in Venice is the statue of the Resurgence hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Few notice, however, that be...

View