Hidden treasures

The Fondamenta of the Traghetto (Ferry) del Buso

Unknown places & works
traghetto-del-buso

The Fondamenta of the Traghetto (Ferry) del Buso

Near the Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice is the Fondamenta of the Traghetto del Buso.

The official version has it that this ferry was so named because it was located almost in a hole underneath the Rialto Bridge. However, there is a second and spicier explanation: this ferry was used to reach the Castelletto area, the red light district of Venice, near the Rialto market, on the other side of the Grand Canal, and then 'buso' would mean vulgarly the female sex. According to the Coronelli (author of a guide to Venice at the end of 1600s), the ferry was also called' the Ruffians' because it was used by pimps to take  customers to their prostitutes.

According to the famous Giuseppe Tassini, who in 1800 wrote the impressive work 'the Venetian Curiosity', the name refers instead to a very specific event: the Government of the Republic had banished prostitutes from Venice, but then it was forced to call them back because a serious unrest broke out in the city; when the prostitutes returned to Venice, they all went to this pier near Rialto, which was called by the people jokingly 'the buso', referring to the profession of the 'maidens' who had used it.

If you like our 'Anecdotes and curiosities' section, Francesca, our brilliant author of these short stories and a licensed guide in Venice will be happy to accompany you in Venice to help you to discover many other mysteries, legends and curiosities in person, during a fascinating guided walk!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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