|What's that bump in the corner?|
Any visitor to Venice is struck by its bricolage of stone, ruin, plaster, marble and stucco. It's as if a thousand years of houses are built on top of one another, bricked over, added onto, tumbled-down. A stone sill is salvaged from one ruin to build another house. A gothic window replaces a Byzantine portico. It's all a jumble, and the mellow tones of the stones and bricks lend a rosy, soft tint to one's overall view of the city. It all looks so beautiful, so romantic, so decrepit.
On a walking tour of the city, as we strolled down the Calle di Boteri, our tour guide, Fiona pointed out something - a kind of bricked-up hump in the corner where one house meets another. "Any guess what that is?" she asked.
"Some kind of drainpipe?"
It would only take one try pissing on one to learn the lesson.
|Winding sotoportego in San Polo - is that a pissotte at the photo's center?|
|Zooming in - yes, it is.|
There are many elaborate variations on the pissotte. Here is a kind of double-decker shelf-type version. Maybe this is multi-generational type of deflector - one for the grownups and one for the kids?
Here a large bombe-shaped version shields the entrances of these two houses.
Sometimes, as a double-whammy repellant, a corner pissotta will feature a religious plaque or even a corner shrine, with the reasoning that no one would dare to piss on a religious symbol.
Once I learned about the pee-bumps, I suddenly started seeing them everywhere! If you visit Venice, you will too!
|There are two pissotta here|
Yvonne's blog is also a great look at what it's like to actually LIVE in Venice. If that's one of your dreams, go explore her blog!