Hidden treasures

The hidden initials of King Vittorio Emanuele on the Borgoloco bridge

Historical Curiosities
ponte-borgoloco

The hidden initials of King Vittorio Emanuele on the Borgoloco bridge

During the first half of the 1800s, Venice was one of the protagonists of the Italian Risorgimento against the Austrian domination.

The Austrian empire had a very centralized government and exerted heavy control over the population. What’s more, the police made every effort to stop the Carbonari and the patriots who tried to foment the inhabitants against the Habsburgs.

Despite this, secret societies prospered, finding increasingly ingenious means to disseminate their ideas and send cryptic messages to the population. One of the most interesting examples of these hidden political messages is on the Borgoloco Bridge, which links the island of Santa Marina with that of Santa Maria Formosa in the Castello district.

If you look carefully at the elegant volutes of the iron balustrade of this bridge, you will see that they are not hearts, but three letters: W E V, corresponding to the motto Viva Vittorio Emanuele (King of Italy).

Another way to praise Vittorio Emanuele without risking being arrest by the Austrian authorities, was to yell 'Viva Verdi' during the performances of the famous composer at the Fenice Theatre. Verdi, in fact, was considered an acronym to say 'Viva Vittorio Emanuele King of Italy', as can be seen in the opening scenes of the famous movie 'Senso' shot in the famous theater by the director Luchino Visconti.

If you are interested in finding out more about this extraordinary city, we recommend you book a private guided tour of Venice... Anecdotes, places and stories told in the places where they were unfolded!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

bartolomeo_cristofori
Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...

View

Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

gondoliere
Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...

View

Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

rosso_tiziano
Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...

View

Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Museo-delle-Nuvole-Monte-Rite-a-Cibiana
Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...

View

Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

gondola
Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
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...

View