Barbacani are wooden beams that are used to gain horizontal space in  upper floors, without encroaching on the narrow alleyways of Venice. You will notice examples of them in a number of locations around Venice, but you will have to remember to look up.

In Rialto, Calle della Madonna 574,  you can find a barbacane made of Istrian stone which was used as a model for the wooden reinforcements for the walls. The dimensions were  laid down by the authorities to prevent abuses.

Note how the storm water drain has been curved around the profile of the building

And now, friends (and relatives), I’m taking a break from the world of blogdom. I don’t know when/if I’ll be back. Perhaps during my next visit to Venice, I’ll be inspired with things to share.

For now, consider this my swan song. 🙂



Filed under Venice

66 responses to “Barbacani

  1. Caroline

    Thanks to you, Yvonne, I knew what ‘La Nuova’ was talking about when I read about last Sunday’s storm having brought down an Istrian stone barbacane of c.20kg in Frezzeria –

    And you’ll see in the same article that a grande nave broke its moorings…


    • PS having checked the address you give (which is correct) I realise that “your” barbacani is not the one I had in mind! Yours is on my side of the Rialto bridge (San Silvestro) while the restaurant “ai Barbacani” is on the other side of the bridge (Santa Maria Formosa, Calle del Paradiso). The two are similar, but yours is nicer and larger!


  2. ok with pleasure, I will look at your archives. Glad that you liked my beloved city!


  3. Excellent exemple and perfect picture, close to one of my favourite small restaurants – congratulations! I have taken the liberty of quoting your entry here:


    • I have already gone to have a look, and I feel very privileged! Now, which restaurant, please?


      • The restaurant is called “ai Barbacani”! They have a tiny small balcony on the water, and when the tide goes up you will have water almost at your feet! The owner is a gentleman called Antonio, say hallo to him if you happen to be there.


  4. Pingback: Venetian Life Glossary. Piccolo glossario di vita veneziana « Rialtofil

  5. Hi, and welcome back from your long weekend abroad! I’m looking forward to meeting you folks, also! Yes, I’ve got a place to put my head and computer, so that’s nice to know. See you next year, for sure. 🙂


  6. Caroline

    Yvonne, thank you so much for your ‘company’ these last few months and I will miss your inspiration. I sometimes think I see more on your blog than I do actually living here and apparently walking round with my eyes shut! Phil & I are really looking forward to meeting you in February. Do you know yet where you’ll be staying? Affettuosi saluti, Caroline


  7. MaryK

    I think it’s quite clear that loads and loads of us have really loved your blog – and I’m most certainly amongst the loud chorus of ‘say it isn’t so’ to you announcing your swan song.

    You’ve an extraordinary eye for the ‘hidden in plain sight’ details of our wonderful Venezia – as well as an exceptional ability to find the really hidden treasures, and then tell us all about them.

    I’m going to so miss finding the next treasure from Yvonne on my computer (so I guess I just have to go back myself and enjoy it for real …… again! Only 92 days and counting 🙂


    • Oh, boy, it’s not all that long for your joyful return, Mary. Have you been enjoying the Olympics?

      (I think you’re right, I shan’t be able to restrain myself, once I’m there.)


  8. Yvonne,
    I’m looking forward to your next post already. I know that once you go back to Venice you will not be able to stop yourself from blogging again. We need you over there. You are such a fantastic reporter. Thanks a million!


    • Hi, Daniel, and thank you for the very nice words! You’re so right, there’ll be that not-seen-before moment, and I’ll be needing to share it. My apartment better have good internet coverage!


  9. Hi, Big Al. You’ll be sure to see me lurking on your blog! I think there’ll be a few more Brisvegas trips in my future. I wonder where we might find a spritz??


  10. Al

    Che peccato! Hurry back soon and stay in touch…I’ll miss your posts Yvonne. If you’re coming to Brissy again and have some time let me know. Hugs, Big Al


  11. Sig. Nonloso

    Yikes, Yvonne, I count on you to keep me on my toes and keep me from overlooking too much! I always discover something of interest, something I didn’t know, something I’ve missed when I read your blog. But I can understand your need for a break; I have been terrible about posting anything so far this month myself. It’s the drought we’re going through–basically no rain all summer, all the grass in the park is dead, it seems as though it will never rain again. But this is a blog post, not a comment! When will be your next visit to Venice?


    • Hi, Siggie. You’re having a monster hot season this year. Batten the hatches, and get rid of the criminal element, I’ll be back in mid-February, and I’m just a little bit happy about that. Hello to the missus and the son and heir. 🙂


  12. Jon (Bilbao, Spain)

    C’mon Yvonne, It’s never as you say showing pictures to friends after a trip. Me and I’m sure many others like me who follow you, love seeing your pictures, explanations, thoughts. And we love it because even if we know Venize very well, you bring her from the distance to our thoughts and heart in each post.

    I’ll accept a rest, but please come back soon. Best luck,

    Jon, Bilbao


    • Thank you for your most kind words, Jon. Now I know who has been watching from Spain! Who knows, maybe a little break will bring me back all fresh and enthusiastic! Cheers!


  13. Melissa

    Hey Yvonne, are you able to tell me when you are next in Venice so I know when to return to your blog. I’m assuming it will be next year.


  14. I hope you have a good blog break and that the inspiration returns to you! I’ve really enjoyed seeing Venice through your eyes.


  15. Rob C


    We, especially I, will miss your look at the City of our dreams. Your blog is a beacon of light, but as you say, if the beacon holder is not inspired, the beacon may fade.

    We’ll wait and hope that once you’ve recharged you’ll be back.


    Rob x


    • Hi, Member of the Bad Crowd. Are you still in Australia???

      Thank you for your nice words, and your contributions to my blog. Here’s hoping Venice gives me a kick-start again next year! Baci.


      • Rob C

        Yep, just one more day in Adelaide then a weekend in Sydney before the long slog to London!

        Then, back to work on Wednesday.



  16. Add me to the list that will miss you saying “Hello World” each morning. You’ve given us a lovely, personal view of your (mmmmm, our) beloved city.
    I think a certain duo & a spritz or 2 may help jumpstart your blog… March.


  17. I have enjoyed reading your blog so much. You will be missed. Thank you!


  18. Other Yvonne

    Just home and was back-reading to catch up, and then my heart dropped a little. This swan song is bittersweet. I personally would like to say…Thank you. For sharing with us, for teaching me wonderful new things, for making me realise I am not the only one that dreams of Venice each night, ( I’m not crazy after all 🙂 ) and finally for the kind words when I needed them. I will raise a glass to you in 73 days!! and think of all the laughs we’ve had here. Thanks for the memories! Looking forward to February… Alberta…..? now you know your going to be missed. Take care of you.


  19. Oh no! I love your blog posts. Will just have to try to keep up with you on FB, I guess.


  20. JoanneH

    Just a note to say tank you for all the wonderful photos and to open my eyes to whats above and below when walking though not only Venice but any place I happen to be……………Enjoy your break and return refreshed and should you need tips on jewelry\tourist shops in Venice after this last group I am sure there was not one we missed,my feet still are sore


  21. Michelle

    Cara mia, you have been a blessing to my days. I know you are still around and we will communicate but I will dearly miss your daily insights.
    Take care my friend.


  22. Lou

    Thank you Yvonne. You have a marvelous insight and an excellent eye for photography. When you go back to Venice, please start your blog again and keep in touch. Lou


  23. Melissa

    WHAT THE???? Oh, wow, okay, you were just like the 6 o’clock news (only much better), always on time, up-to-date and informative!

    I hope you are well, now I’m worried! Hope all is good and look forward to hearing about your next trip to Venice. Please come back, you are a delight!
    M xx


  24. Barb

    To say that you will be missed is a huge understatement! But I’m looking forward to next spring in Venice when hopefully, I can occasionally join you as you find the beautiful and interesting things you’ve been sharing with us.
    Thank you so much for all the times you’ve added a bit of Venice or Australia to my day.


    • Barb, I’ll be dragging you all around the place saying “Look up. Look down. What can that thing be?” You’ll soon be making excuses to stay at home!


  25. Thank you, Andrew. And don’t forget, my offer to sign that contract as your sub-guide, remains well and truly open! See you on FB, mate.


  26. Andrew

    See you on Facebook then, Yvonne. When ( and I mean when) you restart this blog you can inform us on FB. You’ll be missed here. My Lancastrian in-laws had a saying that things had become ‘ a toil of a pleasure’ and I guess this is what happened here. Thanks for the great articles. xx


  27. Hi, Jan. I’ve got plenty of photos, but no stories to go with them! I’ll gather more adventures next visit, hopefully.


  28. I’ve rather run out of inspiration, Susie. Now it feels like I’m foisting my vacation slides on my relatives. 🙂

    How are you folks?


    • jan Graham

      We will miss them Yvonne,. but it must be hard to think of fresh items all the time, nothing to stop you surely if a thought crosses your mind,


    • We are doing well, thanks! I will send you an email so we can catch up.

      Now if you and “M” go to Tasmania, THAT would be some blogging material!

      Thank you for providing me with hours and hours of enjoyment. Your blog has become such a bright spot in my day. I think I will look at Venice a little differently this next trip because of you.


  29. Nooooooo! Say it isn’t so Carissima!


  30. I’ll be lurking on yours, Linda!


  31. Oh the sadness as you leave our blogisphere………..sigh!!


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