Hidden treasures

Sior Rioba at the Madonna dell' Orto in Venice

Mysteries & Legends
Sior_Roba

Sior Rioba at the Madonna dell' Orto in Venice

Next to the Church of the Madonna dell'Orto in the sestiere of Cannaregio in Venice there is a small courtyard, Campo dei Mori, where you can see some odd looking statues, dressed in oriental costumes.

The legend says that the ancient inhabitants of the nearby Mastelli Palace (originating from the Morea region in Greece and therefore called ‘Mori') were ruthless bankers, who had robbed a Venetian noblewoman. In order to get justice, she prayed to ask Saint Mary Magdalene to put a curse on them. The three con men were consequently turned into stone to remind all passes by that divine justice would always punish the sinners.

In reality, these are three statues with pieces of sculptures from different epochs assembled during the 14th century, whilst the basements are portions of a former roman altar.

The statue in the corner, known as ‘Sior Rioba' is very famous and, similarly to the statue of Pasquino in Rome, was used to hang poems and satirical pieces of protest against politicians or prominent people in Venice.

In the 19th century ‘Sior Rioba' lost his nose that was later rebuilt in a makeshift fashion with a piece of wire. This gave rise to the legend claiming that luck would be on the side of those who rubbed the nose. During the night between 30th April and 1st May 2010 Sior Rioba had his head chopped off causing the immediate reaction of security forces and local people. Luckily the head was found in Calle della Racchetta on 3rd May and the statue was promptly repaired.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: Villa Condulmer in Mogliano Veneto and Giuseppe Verdi

villa-condulmer
Big Names

Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century... Even those who are not Opera experts recognise the arias of h...

View

Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

teatro-anatomico-padova
Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...

View

Venice: The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

presepe-sommerso
Unknown places & works

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbo...

View

Venice: The chapel of Saint Lucia in the Church of St. Jeremiah in Venice

s-geremia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

In many parts of the world, December 13th, the shortest day of the year, is dedicated to the celebration of the feast of Saint Lucia. H...

View

Top posts

Vicenza: The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

olimpico-scenografia
Historical Curiosities

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influence...

View

Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

castello-monselice
Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...

View

Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Otello
Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...

View

Venice: The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

giardino-eden-venezia
Unknown places & works

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the G...

View