This is a preview of the content in our Venice Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

Gobbo di Rialto

The Hunchback in the Market

Gobbo di Rialto by the Pietro del Bando

Opposite the church of San Giacometto, and usually surrounded by market crates, crouches the granite figure of the Gobbo di Rialto (1541, restored 1836), the ‘hunchback’ supporting a heavy stone platform with stairs leading to the top.

Here, the Republic's comandador would climb up, and hop on to the adjacent column called the Pietra del Bando ('proclamation stone') to read out new decrees to the public and announce the departures and arrivals of important ships.

This Pietra del Bando is almost identical to the one in front of San Marco; in fact, both were cut from the same column, brought home from Acre during the Crusades.

These stones were important landmarks in the old days, when the Campo di San Giacometto was the business centre of Venice. The Serenissima arranged for the news and decrees to be proclaimed from both at exactly the same time—then as now, time was money.

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

History and Anecdotes

San Polo/Santa Croce

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, Jean-Pol GRANDMONT