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

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View