Campo Santa Margherita

Campo Santa Margherita is a large public space in Dorsoduro. It hosts fresh fruit and vegetable stalls, and flower and fresh fish vendors several days a week.

It is a hub of social activity throughout the day, for catching-up chats over coffee or a spritz, while the children play with their scooters, coloured chalk or soccer balls.

In the evenings it is crowded with University students who spill out of the small bars with their drinks, as they discuss the latest news of interest and importance to them.

Often overlooked, in the corner of the campo near to the Carmini Church is an elegant memorial. I wonder what symbolism lies behind the four beautiful figures on the base of the flagpole?

25 April marks the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Italy. There will certainly be a ceremony at this, and other, memorials in Venice and throughout Italy.

PS I have a calendar which was on offer by Il Gazzetino, one of the daily newspapers available in Venice. It tells me that today is the name day of Saints Teodoro and Pausilipo, and also of Father Damien de Veuster, a Belgian who devoted his life to fighting discrimination against leprosy patients.  He was canonised in 2009. (Go Belgium, go Father Damien.)



Filed under Venice

29 responses to “Campo Santa Margherita

  1. Well, these photos truly makes me want to be there. I miss it.


  2. Holy cow Bert…..thanks for the info….and at the speed of light!!


  3. Bert

    The figure in the first big photo represents Temperance; the second, Prudence; the third, Justice; and the fourth, Fortitude (also known as Strength). I worked these out by comparing them with the four Cardinal Virtues displayed on the façade of the Gesuati church.


  4. Caroline……when I first read your post I thought you were referring to a woman depicted in the statue….
    Yvonne….that’ll be a fun game…deciding on the virtues of the statues…..


    • Caroline

      That would be impressive, already being commemorated in a statue – and she’s so young!


    • Linda, now you’ve given me a chuckle. Bert sent me an email with his considered opinions, which I will accept!

      Here it is: (I always learn a lot from the comments you folks make.)

      “Those virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude) are the same as those on the façade of the Sant Maria del Rosario (I Gesuati) church. So, if you could compare the attributes you could work out which is which.

      This site ( illustrates which is which on the church.

      So I’d say your second figure is Prudence because of the pointy thing both figures hold. I don’t know what it is. It could be a mirror (one of the attributes often shown with Prudence), viewed edge on. From another site: The text also explains why Prudence is seeing herself in a mirror: it is a reference to the Latin maxim Nosce te ipsum (know yourself) derived from an inscription in the main temple of Delphi.

      The fourth is Fortitude – she’s wearing armour, and has a shield under her left hand. I have a photo that shows she has a sword in her right hand.

      But the third has a crown like the Gesuati figure of Justice, and a balance in her right hand. (Can you see the pointer (?) with the ring at the end? That could be the ring from which the balance was suspended.) Again, my photo shows the scales more clearly.

      By a process of elimination that means that your first photo is Temperance. The one on the Gesuati is pouring a liquid (presumably alcoholic) from a large vessel onto the ground (or into the pot held by the cherub?), whereas your figure is pouring something from a small container into a saucer. Presumably you don’t need to abstain totally to be temperate.”
      (Editor’s comment: Thank goodness!)


  5. Andrew

    Thanks Bert, for the answer. I did try to look up the monument. I gave up after going to a website called Venice by europe-cities. Thay talked about the flowers and ponds in Campo S.M. Obviously they’ve never been to the city.


  6. Michelle

    There is a good movie on Father Damien’s fight to treat people with leprosy humanely called Molokai…for the Hawaiian island where the “leper colony” was and where he was sent to minister to them. .So glad he finally became St. Damien….because if you read about him or see the movie you will know he was.


    • I actually did know about him, being a) the child of Belgians, and b) a once upon a time Catholic. And, he, poor fellow, died quite young, of the very disease he was champion for.


  7. Caroline

    Yvonne, I think your first photo has caught the owner of the 2nd holiday flat we stayed in before moving to our long-term one! If so, what a coincidence. She’s the lady in black, with a pushchair, and we have seen her with her baby son in that area to meet her daughter from nursery.

    Re the spritz, we’ve been quite surprised to find our cheapest ones so far at E2.50 in Campo S.M. !

    You mention the children’s scooters – we hadn’t noticed these before this year but now they are everywhere. We have also even seen a few small children with – gasp – bicycles or tricycles. I don’t want to sound too curmudgeonly, but I am a bit worried where this could lead – teenage boys bombing about on full-size bikes? Is there an official cut-off size/age, I wonder?

    Btw it’s the ‘Su e Zo Per i Ponte’ today. After you alerted us to it I looked it up and we got quite enthused about the idea, once it had occurred to us that we could bail out before the end if it was too much 🙂 But then we swithered for ages over whether to register or not, and finally decided against it when we saw the 5 day weather forecast on Thursday. Maybe next year! But we have got an event on the Zattere against the grandi navi to attend at 2.30 and a Brahms German Requiem in San Salvador at 5 (which appears to be free). There really is too much stuff on! Haven’t yet managed seriously to study the Settimana di Cultura events, and it started yesterday.


    • Hello, Caroline. Isn’t it lovely when you can recognise people in your town, in someone else’s holiday photos! What gets me about the scooters and other small wheeled vehicles, is the parents having to lug them (and the groceries, etc.) over all the bridges, so junior can hop on again on the other side. I think there is some by-law about bicycles, so don’t get any ideas!

      I kept watching the web-cams around the Piazza for signs of folks in the Su e Zo, but just saw lines of umbrella-ed folks going into the Basilica. Maybe next year I can join you, stranger things have happened.

      You really are finding a lot of good things to keep you busy. Do you think the people, on the cruise ships leaving, think that the quaint Venetians are bidding them a fond adieu in a strange local manner?


      • Caroline

        Very glad to hear about the bye-law!

        Doing the Sue e Zo together next year would be really nice! If the dates always coincide, this is an especially good time to be here as it’s also the Settimana della Cultura this week, with free admissions to some museums and lots of guided visits etc, including to some places not normally open. We are even more spoilt for choice than normal! It’s a real privilege being able just to go into the Accademia for an hour or two, here and there, without feeling the need to see everything in one go.

        There was no sign of the advertised ‘fuori grandi navi’ event on Sunday, presumably due to the rain, so we’ve yet to see one – but I did wonder what the cruisers made of the protesters I’ve seen in one picture with some sort of burning torches! As you say, they could think it’s a respectful farewell/bon voyage gesture – or maybe they even think it’s something the cruise company has laid on for them, like the brass band they sometimes get on setting off. (Well, we did on the one 3 day ‘taster’ cruise we did from Southampton, England – it was the local police band.)


      • Last year, the Su e Zo was on 10 April, and the ‘free week’ was soon after. It’s a good time to be in Venice! (Anytime is a good time …)


  8. Thank you, Bert! It makes me sad, thinking that they represent virtues of the Italian soldiers, who are now long lost to their loved ones.

    Now, I have to look at the women, and try to determine which represents a particular virtue.


  9. Bert

    Or this: Angelo Franco (Venezia, 28 luglio 1887 – Milano, 9 ottobre 1961)


  10. Bert

    I can claim little credit for this (except that I looked for it and found it):
    Monument to the fallen of the Great War : opened Nov. 4, 1923, bears the names of the 100 who died in the parish of the Carmini surmounted by four bronze sculptures representing the four virtues of the Italian soldier: Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, the sculptor Angelo Franco .


  11. Hi, Brigitte. Your answer made me chuckle, you’re so right about all those name days. And, thank you for the link, and the Easter greetings for our Orthodox friends. Cheers!


  12. As many calenders you have as many different saint’s days you are offered. But as many saints are a subject of very old phantasies it doesn’t really matter. The ‘official’ story, also a matter of believe or not is:
    Happy Greek easter (today)


  13. Hi, Linda. I wish there was an edit function on WordPress, for the commenters!

    My searches for more information were not conclusive, this is from a Spanish site:

    In Thrace, Saints Theodore and Pausilipo, martyrs, which, according to tradition, suffered martyrdom in the time of Emperor Hadrian

    So, now I await someone with better knowledge to bail me out, yet again!


  14. “crocodile” I tried to correct my spelling and the screen swallowed up my comment……..


  15. Yvonne….great shots of the four figures. I wonder if they have anything to do with the four seasons…
    St. Teodoro….is that the same saint that is on one of the two columns in Piazzetta San Marco….the saint standing on the crocidile?


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