Hidden treasures

The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Historical Curiosities
Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi

The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell...

After having been the Post Office building for two centuries, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi was recently reopened after a long period of restoration that has transformed it into a luxurious shopping centre.

The palace was built in 1508 after a big fire destroyed the previous building. It was initially meant to be used for the arrival and storage of goods transported by German or Flemish merchants... At the time, the Serenissima Republic was cosmopolitan and all foreign merchants were welcome, though always closely monitored by the authorities!

Inside the building, after going up to the first floor, you will find numerous marine inscriptions, monograms and symbols engraved on the marbles of the balconies by German merchants: a collection of over two hundred evidences that still represent an example perhaps unique in the world of Renaissance corporate symbols.

Even the façade overlooking the Grand Canal is full of surprises, such as the depiction of a double-lily and a sort of pentagram formed actually by two clubs which are under the sills of the central windows. According to some scholars these are probably coat arms related to the Fugger brothers, the most prestigious German bankers in Europe in the 1500s.

Would you like to discover other fascinating buildings in Venice? Contact us to arrange an exclusive private tour with our expert guides!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

il_fornareto
Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...

View

Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

colline-del-prosecco
Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View