Hidden treasures

Traditional sailing in the Venice lagoon: the al terzo sail (lugsail)

Local Traditions
Vela_al_terzo

Traditional sailing in the Venice lagoon: the al terzo sail (lugsail)

Across the Venice lagoon - along the bridge between Venice and Mestre, near Chioggia or when heading to Lido or the Isle of Torcello – one can easily spot traditional boats with wide colourful sails, rigged in a particular way once used on fishing boats or transport boats and common throughout the Adriatic sea: the al terzo sail (literally lugsail) so called as the spar is attached to the mast at a third of its length.

This type of sail represents the most natural transition from the very ancient classical square sails to the typical triangular sails that are common in contemporary sailing boats. The most ancient records of the use of this type of sail date back to the 17th century.

On fishing boats the sail was decorated with bright colours painted with sponges and dyes that were easily available and made of natural elements. This treatment would preserve the material as well as prove useful to spot the boat from a distance and also at night. This custom gave rise at the end of the 19th century to a true heraldry amongst fishermen.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Venice: The island of Saint Francis of the Desert in the Venice lagoon

San-Francesco-del-Deserto
Unknown places & works

If you are looking for a place to meditate, away from clamour, St. Francis of the Desert is an island that is right up your street! The...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View