A little piece of Venetian history, for those who love that city.
Make sure you read the linked article, but not at breakfast perhaps.
Thank you Robin.
Zompini’s engraving shows a workman, the Cura gatoli, deferentially greeting two immaculately-dressed toffs. The image is very much à clef, as only a Venetian would immediately grasp how disgusting the job really was. In the accompanying rhyme the workman describes his task in Venetian dialect. “Co xe l’Alba per tute le Contrae / I gatoli curemo dal sporchezzo; / E se mantien le strade ben netae.” My translation: “At dawn we trudge round all the lanes / Unblocking all the filthy drains / And keep the streets clean for our pains.” The word gatoli means not only drains for rainwater but also the labyrinth of conduits channeling human waste out of buildings and into the canals. It was critical to keep these in good order at all times, and the draincleaner’s job was as important as that of the canal dredgers mentioned in a previous post…
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