The Sconta court known as the Arcana di Corto Maltese in VeniceUnknown places & works
The Sconta court known as the Arcana di Corto Maltese in Venice
For fans of the famous comic strip of Corto Maltese, Venice looks like an enchanted place where you can experience the greatest adventures. For example, the adventure of Corto Maltese in China and Siberia (‘Fable of Venice', Hugo Pratt, 1976) begins in a charming and little corner of Venice, near the Saints John and Paul Basilica: Court Botera.
The name used in the comic book is far more fascinating - Court Sconta (i.e. hidden) called Arcane-but this does not change the ambience of the place. This court owes its name to a workshop of botteri, that is, where barrels were manufactured. It has at its centre a well curb, an outdoor covered staircase, a round walled arch in Venetian-Byzantine style (of the 13th century that served as access to the Contarini Zoggia Palace that stood here in ancient times), some columns that support the porch and a series of porticoes ranging from the entry to the court itself, and to the nearby canal.
Botera Court has in fact almost maintained its original appearance, and probably for this Hugo Pratt chose it for the adventure of his hero, but because of the many visitors (who are not always respectful), its inhabitants have decided to close it with a gate. Be patient and wait for someone to allow you to enter...
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