The Garbage Tip

No, this blog will not be about suggestions for what to do with your garbage. A garbage tip is the British term for what we linguistically challenged folks on this side of the pond call the dump.

Venetians called it the scoazzera.

Usually each little neighborhood, called a contrado, has a campo with a pozzo or cistern, a campanile or bell tower generally attached to the church, an abate or short marble column used for the shield of the guild or church, and a scoazzera, an small enclosure where people dumped their refuse. At one point these were closed, and then the garbage overflowed in the streets so they were reinstated. Eventually the scoazzeri were demolished, but you’ll still occasionally see the name, such as the Campiello Scoazzera near San Toma or the Rio Tera della Scoazzera near the Zattare.

Here’s a photo of the bridge of this name, from Wikimedia Commons.

Image

An interesting side note: the people who picked up the garbage were the cavacanali. They also had the job of dredging sludge from canals when they silted up. I didn’t see an streets named after these guys, though.

I love finding out what the names of Venetian streets really mean. Paolo Giordani’s guidebook Venice: Thirty Walks to Explore the City has an index defining names, as does Curiosita Veneziani (though it’s written in a sort of archaic Italian that’s generally hard for me to understand, seeing as my language skills need beefing up anyway.)  I’ll share them with you if you keep following me down Venice’s streets!

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About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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