Whenever I plan to visit a new city or, generally speaking, a new place, I always try not to stick to clichés (even though I do enjoy some of them), rather discover new spots, secret corners usually overlooked by tourists. Hoping that I’m not the only one, here I am with my blog, sharing all these tips about Venice and giving you the chance to discover its secret perks, among which you can find one of my favourites: the Campiello del Remer.
First of all: what’s a campiello? The word refers to the Venetian little squares usually situated at the end of the calli – the streets of Venice, and at whose center you can find a small well.
As you can see from the picture, the place is located quite centrally, just a few steps from the Rialto Bridge, though it is surely less famous. To be honest, few are those so lucky to know it, since it’s well-hidden and defiladed from the tourist horde.
How can you find it? If you’re leaving from the train station, head left towards Strada Nuova and continue straight until you see a Carpisa store on the left, – it will take you twenty minutes ish. Just before the store, you’ll find a narrow street on the right, turn there and follow the calle until you’ll end up in a tiny lovely square overlooking the Grand Canal.
So.. here we are! Although this place is breathtaking at any time of the day, my advice would be to watch the sun setting on the Grand Canal, maybe while tasting an aperitivo and musing on the spooky legend behind this cozy square.
1598. The Campiello del Remer, as the name suggests, was the home of a small workshop which produced oars for gondole. One night, as the Doge Marino Grimani was walking with his men in the Rialto area, he heard a woman screaming. Suddenly alarmed, he looked for the source of the appalling sound and found out the screaming woman was no one but his niece, Elena, trying to escape from her husband. The man, Fosco Loredan, was brutally accusing her of infidelity and got very violent. The Doge and his men tried to save the woman, but Fosco diverted their attention with a simple trick and eventually decapitated the woman. Grimani, overwhelmed by horror, ordered the man to take his wife’s head and go to Rome. The pope himself was to choose his fate and the right punishment. However, the terrified Pope sent him back to Venice without a word, thus leaving him with his remorse and regrets. In Venice, constantly haunted by guilt, the man took his wife’s head and body and drowned himself in the Grand Canal, just in front of the Campiello del Remer, in a deadly embrace. Some say that the ghost of Fosco appears on full moon nights, others say on the anniversary of his death but they agree on his everlasting walking the earth with his beloved in his arms.
Quite the story, huh? You may want to cheer up a bit with a tasty glass of wine and a few cicchetti. Why don’t you enter the door on the left and have a nice aperitivo or dinner in this magical atmosphere? The best way to forget about ghosts is known to be a cheerful dinner in a palace with a view over Venice’s Rialto. 😉