Vere da pozzo (well heads)

A French couple have mapped 700+ well heads in Venice. I have no idea how long this labour of love might have taken them, and I guess not many of us will be able to duplicate their work! They are a never ending source of interest to many people; I’ll be looking out for any I haven’t seen before on my next visit to Venice.

Most of them have plain metal tops bolted on. This one boasts an elaborate, artistic example

This shows a more typical metal top

I had tried on 2 previous visits to Venice, to gain access to the courtyard where this vera da pozzo is to be found. Finally, on my 3rd attempt the security guard relented. Was it my tears?

The courtyard mentioned above is at 168, Rio Tera Lista Spagna. The former Palazzo Sceriman, it now is the home to Veneto Regional offices

Here is the link to the French site. It is about more than vere da pozzo, by the way.



Filed under Venice

18 responses to “Vere da pozzo (well heads)

  1. MaryK

    Wonderful site – thanks Yvonne. There’s hours of my life to be spent plotting journey’s to visit some of these!


    • Good morning, Mary. Always glad to help others waste time! The other thing to look for are the structures to be found in some corners, designed to discourage the fellows from relieving themselves! I haven’t seen any sites devoted to them, however.


  2. There’s a book about them by Alberto Rizzi, it might be out of print but I saw a copy of it in the window of Filippi bookstore (but the store was closed!).

    I love the top of that one in your first pic.


  3. Ciao, Andrew. Ah yes, the mysteries of Venice, eh? I wonder what they went home and told their friends about their visit?


  4. Andrew

    They really are lovely. I guess many folks just walk past them and don’t even notice them. I overheard a couple last time we went. Him: That used to be a fountain. Her: Oh yes. Called a vaporetto. Were they joking? Didn’t sound like it.


  5. Hey, Jude ~ (I’ve been wanting to say that for ages) They would make good subjects for your water colours!

    How are you today?? Ciao, bella.


  6. Thanks, Yvonne! They are gorgeous. I feel inspired to add some to my watercolor journal. I hope to have some to show you soon. Love, Jude


  7. Hi, Randallo! Thanks for that link; you know I’ll be suffering the dreaded SBS again today, don’t you! You’re so right, the ones you glimpse in private corte often seem so lovely … the vera da pozzo is always more beautiful on the other side of the fence!

    Here’s the link to the site of the French couple: (I would like to contribute to your SBS).


  8. This study (​archives/catalogo-dei-pozz​i-di-venezia/ ) catalogs only 217 extant – useful, but perhaps proof that ‘the experts’ have a different standard than committed amateurs? Of course, they looked primarily for pozzi “that contribute significantly to the unique and attractive city, and so probably missed a few hundred private and “less aesthetic” pozzi. I’ll go with your source! Many private pozzi are in better condition, and virtually every private corte has one!


  9. Darlene Jones

    Are any of them still functional? And trust Venetians to make something mundane so pretty.


    • There’s supposed to be one functioning on an island just off Venice. I may try to get there, just to find out if that is correct.

      Darlene, some of them are such works of art, it makes my heart ache.


  10. Buongiorno! Is it the one near the end of the album, with plants in it? Poor vera da pozzo, all cracked up!

    Only 25 days now. 🙂


    • Lou

      Ha! Yvonne! Do let me know if you run into our Mel in Venice – she’ll be there when you are! Probably tracking down Cantina del Vino gia Schiavi in Dorsoduro with her friend Myra. Myra is in Milano polishing off her shoe making skills for 6 months. Lucky kids….:)


      • Hi, Lou. I’ll park myself by the Cantina and wait for her! How long will they be in Venice? Where will they be staying?

        Imagine learning how to make shoes, in Milano. Don’t you wish we could be young again? 🙂


  11. Michelle

    You know that I can’t see one of these without thinking of you. This one is still my favorite:
    You’ll have to get Mike to take you there.



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