Hidden treasures

The Fondamenta of the Traghetto (Ferry) del Buso

Unknown places & works

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

Latest posts

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...


Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...


Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...


Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...


Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...


Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...


Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...


Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...