Hidden treasures

The Wheel of the Innocents in the Monastery of the Pietà in Venice

Unknown places & works
ruota-innocenti

The Wheel of the Innocents in the Monastery of the Pietà in Venice

The majestic neo-classical church of the Pietà stands next to St. Mark's Square in Venice, along Riva degli Schiavoni. Here, concerts are often held with Antonio Vivaldi's music, who during his lifetime was the master of the choir of the pious Institute.

Perhaps not everyone knows that Vivaldi never set foot in the present-day church because the great composer died in Vienna four years before the building was rebuilt by Giorgio Massari.

If you are looking for the ancient complex, you need to head for the nearby Hotel Metropole... Upon entering the lobby of the hotel, at the far end on the right, you will notice two columns that were part of the ancient Ospedale of the Pietà, so called because it was originally a place of hospitality for orphans or children from poor families. The word Ospedale comes in fact from the verb to host.

One of the side doors of the hotel, namely the one facing the alleyway on the left, is what is left of the wheel of the Innocents, the contraption that made it possible for children to be left at the hospital in complete anonymity: alerted by the sound of the bell, the sisters turned the wheel from the inside and took the foundling into their care.

The plaque banning children from being abandoned if the family could afford to keep them is still visible.

If you want to see these places, we recommend you disembark at the 'Pietà' stop of Venice public transport: the Hotel Metropole is right in front of the water bus pier!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The theft of the body of Saint Lucia from the church of San Geremia

venezia_santa_lucia
Historical Curiosities

13th December, throughout the Christian world, is devoted to the celebration of Saint Lucia, a martyr from Syracuse, Italy, who lived a...

View

Venice: The Tolomazi, the first tour guides of Venice

tolomazi
Historical Curiosities

In the Middle Ages, as in present day, Venice was a cosmopolitan city bustling with travellers from all over the Mediterranean. Many of...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
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...

View

Verona: Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella

villa-mosconi-bertani
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about wine and history, you cannot miss out on a visit to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella (province of Vero...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

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

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View