Found on the Riva degli Schiavoni

Some time ago (while I was still languishing in Dismal Swamp, waiting, waiting, etc.,) I saw something on Facebook that made me sit up and pay attention. If you know me, you know it must have been on the scale of a blast of TNT, or the sound of a cork being eased out of a bottle of Prosecco.

Anyhow, it involved something carved into some of the Istrian stone along the Riva just near the Ponte de la Paglia, and which alluded to a place where people could board public transport to the train station, and not be required to use a gondola.

So, off I went, nose to grindstone/pavimento to see if I could find this piece of past history. I must have looked a tad eccentric, perhaps.

I found it! I tried to take photos, I tried to do a panoramic shot, I used a wide-angle lens. None of them worked. I retreated to my lair to do some thinking.


Hah! I know what, I’ll capture it as a movie. Starring Johnnny, maybe!

Look, here it is, with sound effects and everything. (Please look, I spent an outlandish amount of time to bring this to you.)

And then, darned if I didn’t find some more stuff carved into the stone a little further down the Riva.

Here’s one of them, you’ll find it near the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop. Just look at the date on it!

A young fellow told me this referred to the size and number of boats that could be moored at this stretch of the Riva.

A young fellow told me this referred to the size and number of boats that could be moored at this stretch of the Riva.

And, another:

This says: Fine di stazio dei abitanti  del ..... brazzai di li lina

This says: Fine di stazio dei abitanti del ….. brazzai di li lina

And, one more:

This one says: Stazio di cuna di Pirano

This one says: Stazio di cuna di Pirano

Just when we think Venice cannot possibly hold more surprises, she reveals a few more.

And, I hope someone can translate the words for us.



Filed under Venice

38 responses to “Found on the Riva degli Schiavoni

  1. Caroline

    You can still see the plaque in Campo Sant’Angelo – it’s between the building site & the tree (I noticed it when I went to our bank earlier!). Assuming that’s the one you mean?


  2. Barb

    Those are definitely Venice water sounds! Wonderful, Yvonne.
    I am practically counting the hours until February 14th!


  3. Pat

    I love that they had a reserved spot for the delivery of wine!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. I found them! When I commented yesterday I hadn’t realized that they are still on the water and thought they were somewhere in the pavement of the Riva. The reason is that they are in that section of the Riva which was in the past centuries already as large as today, as one can see in the paintings of Canaletto or Carlevarijs. Anyway, here is the translation (pardon my English!):
    1): “26 aprile 1799. Stazio di piedi 80 per cinque burchi da vino”: April 26th 1799. 80 feet dock for five boats for the delivery of wine.
    2): “Fine di stazio dei abitanti della Brazza e di Lisina”: End of the dock reserved to the inhabitants of Brazza and Lisina, that’s to say Brac and Hvar, islands of the Dalmatian coast. Remember that Riva degli Schiavoni means Dock of Dalmatians!
    3): “Stazio di cuna di Pirano”. This is not completely clear to me. Stazio means dock and Pirano is a city in Istria. “Cuna” could be a kind of boat (it properly means cradle), or maybe “Stazio di cuna” means something I don’t know.
    That’s all!


    • Oh, that’s brilliant! Thank you so much for seeking them out, and providing us with explanations. It’s so satisfying to have some answers. What wonderful historical connections they are. It seems they should be preserved in some manner.

      Now, another favour. Would you please turn on the sun! ๐Ÿ˜€


    • Winckelmann, I hope you see this. I had another good look at the inscriptions, and discovered that the one I thought said โ€œStazio di cuna di Piranoโ€, is in fact “cuma”. Does that help you at all?


      • Cuma… this word doesn’t exist in italian. The only explanation I can imagine is that it is a sort of shortened version for “Comunitร  di Pirano”, that’s to say “the Community of Pirano”, ot “the citizens of Pirano”. Inscriptions contain very often abbreviations like that. I don’t know, maybe I am totally wrong but it seems to me that it has some sense. This way the inscription would say: “dock reserved to the Community of Pirano”. Just a conjecture…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think we’ll accept your conjecture!

        The father of a friend (from Stockholm) said there should be one more inscription with a reserved spot for boats from another destination! And, I found a matching inscription that demarks the other end of where the very important wine delivery boats had right of mooring.

        Stay dry.


  5. Bert

    Does Randy mean the plaque in the pavement that says “Jacopo Sansovino qui eresse nel 1557 la chiesa nuova di San Geminiano demolita nel 1807.”?
    What marker in Campo San Stefano could you not find?


  6. It says, “Please do not walk on the grass” ๐Ÿ˜‰ xox


  7. And yes, I did watch your movie!


  8. Me too, Joanne!
    If I hear lapping water here (In a suburb of Seattle) I know something is terribly wrong.
    If I hear it in Venezia I know all is right with my world!


  9. JoanneH

    Just the sound of the lappnig water made my day


  10. Nice discoveries Yvonne! I’ll keep an eye out to find them. Are they all on the Riva?
    Have a nice day!


    • Hi, AnnaLivia. Yes, they’re all on the Riva, I’ve mentioned their positions in the post. It’s about 6pm here, very dark of course, and trying hard to rain. Ciao.


  11. That reminds me, Randallo, I couldn’t find any marker in Campo San Angelo. (Campo Manin, yes.)


  12. Wonderful! The pavement tells tales!
    Ponder this in a peaceful place – stand under the northern portico of the Correr Wing at the end of Piazza San Marco (not the one with the grand stairway), look down, and find yourself “in” San Geminianus e Menna (3rd edition)!


  13. You have to be right at the edge of the Riva, but now I’ve told you where to look.


  14. The number of hours I spent out there in December and never saw that! I’ll have to check it out next time.
    Lovely little video.


  15. Pat

    Another good find! Can’t wait for some translations…


  16. Ciao Y! Another great find! Do you think people might actually find you eccentric? Not possible!

    I love the little video and the water noises, heavenly.


  17. I love getting to see Venice through your eyes and interests! Thanks for sharing this! Karen from Capturing Venice blog


  18. Wow, I’ve been living here for 35 years, walk along the Riva twice a day and have never noticed them! The Riva degli Schiavoni was enlarged around 1933, I’m curious to see where the older carvings are placed, they are surely signs of the old shape of the Riva.


    • You have to go out to the edge, where the Riva is ‘bound’ by Istrian stone, and walk slowly, with your nose close to the pavimento! (Then you can look as eccentric as I did.)


  19. Buona giornata, Liz. Did you watch the darned video?? ๐Ÿ™‚


  20. Bongiorno,
    An Intriguing .) find (literally),
    Ciao from Vienna


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