Hidden treasures

The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

Unknown places & works

The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbour mouth, because of the shifting of the ship load (amounting to more than 1,300 tons of pyrite) caused by the rough sea. The helmsman and the boatswain of the crew, consisting of twenty-two men, perished in the tragedy and two sailors went missing.

The proximity to the coast and the low depth at which the wreck lies have made it a destination for scuba divers. On 23 December 2005, the Moi club, a group of Venetian diving enthusiasts, attached a small marble Nativity set on the propeller blade at the stern. The work, which measures 50x50 cm, is a copy of the nativity set that is displayed during the Christmas period in the church of St Job in Cannaregio, made by an artist friend of the Club members.

Before being anchored to the old wreck, the Nativity set was blessed on the ground with a small ceremony in homage to the diver to whom the work was dedicated.

Finally, another small anecdote: the name of the diving club (Moi) derives from the name of the small codling usually found near wrecks and that were once, with polenta, the typical meal of fishermen!

With this fun anecdote dedicated to Christmas we seize the opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

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...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

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....