Nothing confused me more, when researching THE QUARANT, than trying to differentiate between and pin down the many markets in and around the Rialto area, on both the San Marco and San Polo sides of the Canal.
But it's to this area, covered now but probably at the time merely an extension to the open, unpaved campo to the south, that Malin and Symon pause for a touch of wild boar for lunch, after a busy morning with Pietro Selvo at the Savii offices.
A few tourists were milling around, getting out of the sun while looking back across the Canal and the water stop on the opposite bank.
The shops that line the campo, just far enough from the Rialto Bridge to escape the worst excess of tourist pricing, seem to major on affordable street food; we had a pretty packed itinerary in San Polo so, alas, the poke of calamari remained the property of the store owner.
I like the way the Confraternities or Brotherhoods of medieval Venice were organised, despite the fact that a number of them had their roots in communal self-flagellation and demonstrative suffering. By the time of THE QUARANT, most of their fundamentalist origins had been tempered, and were instead becoming a force for good. The idea that clergy were barred from membership, enabling the laity their own 'club' free of direct influence from those already controlling much of daily life in the city, is also one that I find interesting, given the dominance of the Church in that time. Like a kind of Lord's Taverners, but without the flannel trousers and donated minibuses.
This building was reclaimed from dilapidation by Sclavo's fraternity, and converted into a charitable hospice for the poor and elderly of the San Polo sestiere. It was destined to remain a modest building, never approaching the almost monumental grandeur of the nearby Scuola Grande di San Rocco, awash as it is with Tinterettos and Titians. Note the windows on the first floor, behind which lay the sick and infirm, and through which Malin and friends walk to discuss matters pressing and urgent.
In my desire to take the photo of the building's facade, I almost fell into the home of a local Venetian, as she sought to exit through the door against which I balanced. Joanne was less than impressed at my attempts at respectful integration.