San Marco’s basement stands on the mud of Rivoalto’s island and the legends about Venice history.
While the resizing of eastern Roman’s Empire at the beginning of IX century, the Dodge Giustiniano Partcipazio thought necessary to update those traditions acquired from that culture, in order to build up the people spirit of belonging to the Republic of Venice.
The sunset of Byzantine influence, pushed Venice on the search for Its identity, starting from the patron of the city.
St.Mark, already venerated by the population, perfectly matched this role, mirroring Venecian’s values and devotion.
The stolen treasure of Saint Mark
What the chronicles of the late 1400’s report is perhaps one of the most sensational attempts at theft in the history of Venice.
Before the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte in Venice, the Treasures of Saint Mark held priceless valuables from all over the known world, and in 1494 a man thought that he could steal them.
This is the story of Stamati Crassiotti who devised a plan to steal the Treasure of Saint Mark.
Of the many petty thefts that occurred daily in Venice, Stamati probably thought that the risk he ran for his plan to work was pretty small compared to the prospect of a life lived in unbridled luxury that so many riches would have granted him.
Calletta Varisco in Venice is one of the narrowest streets in the city, and owes its name to the Varisco family who moved to Venice from Bergamo in the fifteenth century.
As well as being known in the city as silk workers in a Rialto shop, the chronicles of those times speak of Varisco family as the protagonists in two violent episodes that saw them imprisoned for a spell.
In 1488 Giovanni Varisco, who was considered a “man with a quarrelsome and bad temper”, wounded Luigi Dragan with a knife near the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo. The motivation for Giovanni’s attack are not known. A few years later, in 1491, Pietro Varisco (the eldest of the family), who being accused of fraud by a young servant named Marco, orders his son Luigi to slap the boy.
The consequences of this argument follow quickly, and on March 8, 1491, the court of the Serenissima condemns both father and son to a year of imprisonment together with the payment of a large sum of money. The administrative efficiency of the courts and the severity of the prisons of the Serenissima Repubblica, served only partly to stem crime in Venice so much so that the Varisco tale is not an isolated one, and certainly not the most serious of the court reports of those times.
If you need to locate Calletta Varisco on the map: click here
San Zaccaria is in a quite area of Sestiere Castello, next to San Marco.
Church of San Zaccaria is one of the eldest in Venice; some attribute It to S.Magno who ordered to build It on the island of Ombriola in the VII century.