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Abbot:

the Father Superior in a monastery.


Accademia dell'Arcadia:

literary academy founded in Rome in 1690 one of whose objectives was to bring poetry back to the simplicity of Nature.


Acoustic profilers:

instruments used to record the parameters of marine currents.


Acqua alta:

typical phenomenon in the lagoon of Venice, Particularly high tides that flood the island city.


Acquaforte:

printing technique (engraving) using copper plates and nitric acid.


Alexandretta:

the town of Iskenderun in modern Turkey, in the gulf of the same name near the border with Syria.


Alexandria:

one of the major cities of the world in Roman times. It began to lose its importance when Cairo was founded in 969 AD.


Amurianum:

the old Latin name for Murano.


Ancuo:

Venetian for 'today'


Antivari:

the town of Bar in modern Montenegro.


Apostolic Protonotary:

title given by the Pope to the seven components of the college of dignitaries who were responsible for recording all acts.


Apse :

Semicircular section of a Christian church at the end of the central nave.


Arbe:

the town of Rab in Croatia, capital town of the island of Rab.


Archbishop:

honorary title also granted to non metropolitan bishops and other dignitaries in the Venetian court.


Arsenale:

shipyard for the building and repair of warships. In the Venetian dialect: 'arzanà', from the Arab 'dar as-sin'ah'.


Arsenalotti:

workers at the Arsenale of Venice.


Art:

see Corporation.


Ascension:

date in the Christian calendar, Christ's ascension to Heaven forty days after Easter.


Ash Wednesday:

the first day of Lent.


Ashkenazi:

name given to the Jews from central and East Europe. From the Hebrew 'Askenaz', indicating Germany in the Middle Ages.


Ashlar:

external cladding of a wall with rough hewn stone and marked deep joints.


Atlas:

mythological figure, one of the Titans, who held the world on his shoulders.


Baba:

Venetian for 'old woman'.


Bacaro:

small restaurant where you can still eat exclusively typical dishes and enjoy 'cicheti'.


Bagigi:

Venetain for roast peanuts.


Bailo:

consul.


Barene:

shoal or sandbank that emerges from the waters of the lagoon.


Barnabotti:

the croupiers in the casinos, usually Venetian gentlemen fallen on hard times.


Baroque:

indicating the style that developed in the 17th Century in the fields of painting, architecture, sculpture and literature. Main features include the search for spectacular effects, rich extravagant decoration and original metaphors that set out to amaze the beholder.


Bastàsi:

Venetian for 'porters'.


Battioro:

craftsmen specialising in beating gold and silver.


Bauta :

Venetian mask, the equivalent of the French 'domino' (hooded cape plus mask).


Bellini:

cocktail based on champagne or sparkling wine and peach juice.


Benedictine:

belonging to the religious order founded by St. Benedict.


Bernini:

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a master Italian sculptor in the 1600s.


Biave:

Venetian for 'cereals'.


Blazon:

coat of arms of a noble family.


Bolla d'Oro:

document issued by an emperor or pope in the past.


Bovolo:

Venetian for <>.


Branch:

communicating road or channel between two major roads or waterways. Often without an exit.


Breviary:

summary or compendium, from the Latin <>


Bucentaur:

luxurious ceremonial boat used to carry the Doge during the Sposalizio col Mar ceremony.


Bunduqiyya :

Arab term indicating a type of musket, forerunner of the rifle.


Byzantine:

in the style typical of Byzantium.


Byzantine Empire:

the East Roman Empire whose capital was Byzantium.


Byzantines:

people from Byzantium.


Byzantium:

the oldest name for what is now the city of Istanbul in Turkey; founded in 667 bc.


Ca':

Venetian for or .


Cabala:

from the Hebrew 'Qabbalah'. Theories linked to the hermetic traditions of magical numbers in a harmonic conception of Creation.


Calegher:

From Latin caligarius: shoe-maker.


Calle:

Venetian for 'street' or 'road', generally long and narrow.


Camauro:

typical white hood worn by the Doge.


Camerlengo:

magistrate in charge of economic activities in the Venetian Republic. More specifically, State Treasurer, responsible for gathering and re-distributing taxes.


Campielli:

small Venetian squares with 'calle' leading off them.


Campo:

Venetian for 'piazza' (square).


Candia:

the island of Crete.


Capitolare dell'Arte:

rules split into chapters or paragraphs disciplining the activities of certain categories or corporations of craftsmen.


Capitulations:

agreements.


Caréga:

Venetian for 'chair' or 'seat'.


Caranto:

a strong flexible base used for constructions, consisting of alternating layers of clay and sand.


Cardinal:

high ranking priest in the Roman Catholic Church. Nominated by the Pope, cardinals are members of the Cardinal College responsible for papal elections.


Carnevale:

(carnival) feast celebrated in Catholic countries in the period leading up to Lent.


Cartoleri:

makers of playing cards.


Cassa di colmata:

a reclaimed area of the lagoon, but never used by industry.


Cathay:

modern-day China (Khitai). Name used by Marco Polo in his travelogue 'Il Milione' (in Italian, 'Catai').


Cattaro:

Kotor in Montenegro.


Cavana:

typical shelter for lagoon boats.


Cenotaph:

honorary sepulchral monument, not containing the remains of the dead.


Ceylon:

large island-state in the Indian Ocean, modern-day Sri Lanka.


Charlemagne:

Charles I Emperor of the Franks (742-814). He managed to rule over virtually the whole of Europe and was crowned the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the year 800 by Pope Leo II.


Chioggia:

town in the southern lagoon of Venice. Originally a Roman settlement, it joined Venice in the 7th Century AD and was known at the time as Clugia. Its inhabitants are called 'chioggiotti' or 'chiozzotti'.


Christmas:

Christian feast, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. 25th December.


Ciacolar:

Venetian for 'to chat'.


Cicheti:

snacks and appetisers.


Cisalpine Republic:

created by Napoleon Bonaparte in July 1797. In 1802 it became the Italian Republic and later (1804 - 1814) the Kingdom of Italy, with its capital in Milan.


Classical:

typical or traditional.


Cogs:

large cargo ships with sails, a round poop and high sides, belonging to private companies.


Communes:

a form of self-government during the Late Middle Ages (9th-10th Centuries) when cities broke free of their feudal ties.


Compagnia della Calza:

company of young noble Venetians that controlled and organised performances and events in Venice in the 15th and 16th Centuries.


Company of Jesus:

religious order founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1540.


Concerti ripieni:

musical term for concerts written for string orchestras where the chordal instrument(s) play along with the bass section.


Conclave:

place and gathering of cardinals in order to elect a new Pope.


Condotte:

agreements drawn up every five or ten years between the city of Venice and the Jewish community.


Confraternity:

association of laymen of a religious and charitable nature.


Conscriptions:

mandatory drafting of young men for military service.


Constantinople:

capital of the East Roman Empire, also called Byzantium; modern-day Istanbul in Turkey.


Corporation:

association set up to regulate and safeguard the activities of members of the same professional category (also known as a 'guild').


Corpus:

complex or whole (Latin).


Counter-Reformation:

movement in the 16th and 17th Centuries whose purpose was the reformation and defence of the Catholic tradition by the Roman Catholic Church to counter the Protestant movement.


Crusade:

military expedition by Christians with the goal of freeing Jerusalem, Christ's burial site, from the Muslims.


Decime:

tax on all produce, equal to a tenth of annual output.


Decorativism:

artistic movement with a predominance of decorative motifs in a work of art.


Delle zogie:

Venetian for 'of the jewels'.


Diamanteri da duro:

diamond cutters.


Diamanteri da tenero:

cutters of precious stones.


Diaspora:

dispersion of a people from their original land.


Dindio:

Venetian for 'turkey'.


Doge:

term indicating the highest authority in the Venetian and Genovese Republics until the 18th Century. From the Latin, 'dux'.


Dux:

chief or guide, hence the terms 'duca' (duke) and, later, 'doge'.


Easter:

Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jewish feast celebration their release from slavery in Egypt.


Endolagunare:

inside the lagoon.


Erberìa or erbaria:

greengrocers.


Esafora:

great separated window in six lights from five mullions.


Eubea:

large Greek island in the Aegean Sea, called Negroponte in the past.


Eustatism:

phenomenon concerning rising sea levels.


Eutrophication:

excessive growth of aquatic plants, due to greater availability of nutrients. The main cause for eutrophication is the introduction of detergents and fertilisers in waterways. The subsequent reduction in oxygen leads to the death of fish.


Exarch:

title given to governors of Italian lands by the Byzantine emperors.


Favari:

Venetian for 'blacksmiths'.


Felze:

removable cabin on gondolas.


Ferragosto:

from the Latin 'Feriae Augusti', i.e. the Italian bank holiday on 15th August. Coincides with the religious feast of the Assumption.


Feudal:

refers to feudalism: the political, economic and social system introduced by the Franks, based on a special relationship between the sovereign and his dignitaries.


Fondaco:

depot or warehouse. From the Arab 'funduq'.


Fondamenta:

road parallel to a canal. The name comes from its function as a foundation for the palaces that line the canal.


Fontego:

Venetian for depot or warehouse, synonym of 'fondaco'.


Foresti:

people from outside, coming from another place.


Fraglia :

Venetian term indicating a corporation of arts and crafts.


Franciscans:

Franciscan monks in Venice.


Frankish:

term used for all wool coming from north of the Alps (Frankish wool), the most valuable being that from France, England and Spain (long staple yarn).


Frari:

Venetian term indicating Franciscan monks.


Galleys:

typical warships of the time (galleys).


Galleys:

ships where the rowers were convicts serving out their sentence.


Gerolamini :

a religious order of monks.


Ghetto:

the name derives from the Venetian 'geto', i.e. lump of cast metal, later 'gheto' reflecting the pronunciation of the Jews from Central East Europe.


Giovedì grasso:

the day that Carnival traditionally starts (the last Thursday before Lent).


Gipsoteca:

collection of plaster casts.


Gondola:

Original form: . Of unknown origin, possibly Latin (small boat) or (shell); or Greek (small ship) or (push).


Gothic:

indicating the culture of the Goths, a people probably originating from Scandinavia. The Gothic style of architecture dates back to the 12th Century. Its main feature is a predominance of vertical lines and the pointed arch. There was also a Gothic style of lettering used by scribes in the Middle Ages.


Gradisca:

town in the region of Friuli, Italy.


Greek cross:

cross formed by four arms of the same width and length.


Gronda:

term used to indicate sloping land to favour drainage.


Hanseatic League:

alliance of cities from North Europe that had the monopoly on trade with foreign cities from the 12th Century until the end of the Middle Ages.


Humanism:

cultural movement in Italy in the 1400s that preceded and accompanied the birth and development of the Renaissance.


Humanist:

Humanism follower of the theories. Adjective: Relating Humanism


Iconoclasm:

Condemnation of the cult or use sacred images


Interdict:

act of excommunication issued by the Pope against a whole nation or individual.


Jaffa:

city and port in Israel.


Java pepper:

pepper from the Indies, also known as 'cubeb'; used as an antiseptic.


Jesuits:

priests belonging to the Company of Jesus.


Jiddish:

you see Yiddish.


Keystone:

architectural terms used for a wedge-shaped stone at the top of an arch and guaranteeing its stability.


Lacerti:

strips or rags (broadly speaking).


Land Registry:

state office holding registers recording all real estate, their value and the names of the deed-owners. In Italian 'Catasto', from the Byzantine Greek 'katastikhon', register.


Latin cross:

architectural term. Refers to the plan of churches where the central nave is much longer than the transept. The plan is thus T-shaped.


Lavoriero:

a special structure used for fishing.


Lent:

period of penitence in the Christian calendar, just before Easter and lasting forty days.


Levant:

the East.


Levantine:

of Eastern origin.


Lieders:

from the German 'lied' (pl. 'lieder') meaning song. In music, an arrangement for solo voice and piano.


Lunigiana:

land between Liguria and Tuscany.


Lutheran:

referring to Lutheranism, a religious movement inspired by the theories of Martin Luther.


Magister militum:

ruler or governor. Nominated by the hexarch of Ravenna, with both civil and military powers.


Magistrato :

important office in the public administration.


Magistrato al Sal:

powerful administrative body in the Venetian Republic responsible for the salt trade and monopoly.


Magistrato al commercio:

powerful administrative body in the Venetian Republic responsible for the salt trade and monopoly.


Magistrato alle acque:

important position of public authority to manage and protect the lagoon of Venice.


Maifinìo:

Venetian for incomplete.


Mameluks :

from the Arab 'maml?k', Turkish and Circassian military in Egypt in the 13th Century.


Marangoni:

carpenters working in the Arsenale.


Mariegola:

Venetian for 'statute'. Generally used to indicate the statute of one of the confraternities.


Marrani:

Spanish Sephardic Jews forced to abjure their faith.


Mascareri :

master craftsmen who made masks.


Massari:

treasurers.


Megio:

Venetian for 'millet' or 'foodstuff'.


Mendicoli:

Venetian for 'beggars'.


Metamauco:

modern-day Venetian district of Malamocco.


Mezzanine:

lowered floor, normally between the ground and first floors of a building.


Middle Ages:

term used to indicate the historical period that runs from the end of the Western Roman Empire (476 dc) to the Modern Age that, for some historians starts with the Renaissance (in Italian, Rinascimento) that was born in Italy towards the middle of the 1400s and for others with the discovery of America (1492).


Morario:

large evaporation pool in salt-works.


Morea:

now the Peloponnesus peninsula in Greece.


Moretta :

black velvet oval mask, only worn by women.


Mude:

escorted maritime conveys.


Murazzi:

a wall some 20 km long, made from blocks of Istria stone set vertically on the lagoon side and at an angle facing the Adriatic.


Napoleon:

Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of France from 1804 to 1815.


Narentans:

Nordic people, that settled along the East Adriatic coast in the 7th Century.


Narthex:

from the Greek 'nártheks', external entrance to a church.


Nave:

main interior of a Christian church leading up to the altar, often set between two rows of columns.


Negroponte:

the modern-day Greek island of Eubea.


Neoclassicism:

movement that re-introduced the old forms of ancient Greek and Roman art.


Normans:

old Germanic people who moved down through Europe from Scandinavia during the 8th to 10th Centuries to occupy Island, Normandy, Britannia and southern Italy.


Oarlock or rowlock:

support for oars on a boat.


Offshore dams:

structure outside a port or harbour.


Onda lunga:

Surging mass of water moved by the wind or other forces. In the Venice area, caused by the passage of motorboats in the canals.


Oratorios:

sacred dramatic composition.


Orthodox:

followers of the Greek Orthodox Church that split from the Roman Catholic Church, with its own doctrine.


Ottoman:

synonym for 'Turk' or 'Turkish', with special reference to the dynasty founded by Othmån I (the Ottoman Empire); from the Arab 'otmåni'.


Ottoman Empire:

empire founded by the Ottoman Turks in the early 14th Century. The State governed by the Ottoman dynasty ended in 1922.


Ottoman Turks:

descendants of the dynasty founded by Othmån I in the 1300s.


Pàtere:

small ornamental bowls originating from Byzantium.


Palladian:

the architectural style of Andrea Palladio and his followers.


Papusse:

the shoes worn by gondoliers.


Paron de casa:

Venetian for 'landlord'.


Patriarch:

honorary title reserved for certain archbishops.


Phanerogamae:

plants that flower and produce seeds.


Phoenicians:

ancient population in what is now Lebanon.


Picai:

Venetian for 'hung' (used in connection with the 'gallows').


Piron:

Venetian for 'fork'.


Pistor:

Venetian for 'baker'.


Pizzicato:

musical term for stringed instruments, indicating that strings should be plucked instead of using a bow.


Ponentine:

from the West.


Pope:

title of the Bishop of Rome, head of the Roman Catholic Church.


Port entrance:

opening in coastline through which seawater enters and exits with the ebbing and flowing of the tides.


Porto franco:

area where goods are duty-free.


Pozzetto:

sedan chair carried on the shoulders.


Presbytery:

area used only by the clergy in Christian churches.


Prior:

political office in the Middle Ages indicating a member of a City's Government.


Procuratie:

office/residence of the Procurator of St. Mark.


Procurator:

title used by various officials and magistrates with administrative roles, mostly at a higher level.


Promissione:

Venetian for 'promise'. The oath taken by the Doge during the 'Marriage with the Sea' ceremony.


Proto:

Director of Works in Venice.


Province:

term currently used in Italy to indicate an administrative district, formed by a collection of municipalities, the most important of which is the provincial capital city, giving its name to the province.


Qabbalah:

tied up theories to the hermetic tradition of the numbers magic places in relationship with a harmonic conception of the servant.


Ragusa:

the town of Dubrovnik in Croatian Dalmatia.


Reconquista:

liberation by the Spanish Christians of Arab occupied lands.


Reformation:

religious movement inspired by the beliefs of Martin Luther who held the Bible to be the only valid text for believers.


Renaissance:

pertaining to the Renaissance.


Renaissance:

cultural movement distinguished by special attention to human values, classical styles, the development of art, philosophy, science and social roles. The Renaissance is concerned the birth of the Modern Age in European culture.


Ridotto:

casino.


Rio terrà :

an old canal, now filled in and used as a pedestrian way.


Risorgimento:

historical period when Italy regained its independence and unity.


Riva:

stretch of paved street flanking a canal.


River flood-beds:

strips of even land between the banks and the bed of a river that stay dry in dry seasons.


Rococo:

architectural and decorative style in the early 1700s, originally from France and a development on the Baroque style.


Roman Empire:

the Roman State that formed and expanded across the Mediterranean and Europe between 1st Century BC and the 4th Century AD.


Ruga:

street flanked on both sides by shops, workshops and houses.


Sacca:

an artificial island.


Salizada :

wide important road, paved since ancient times.


Salme:

an old unit of measurement, used in South Italy and equivalent to roughly 300 litres.


Saracen:

term used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance for 'Arab'.


Savoy:

the origins of the Savoy dynasty probably date back to the 9th and 10th Centuries in Valle d'Aosta. The Savoy monarchy ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1861 until 1947 and the dethroning of Umberto II.


Schei:

Venetian for 'money'.


Schiavoni:

people living along the Dalmatian coast and Dalmatian immigrants. Probably derived from a contraction of and (Mediaeval Latin for and ), often used as a term of abuse.


Schiavonia:

Venetian name for Dalmatia.


Scoazzera:

tool or place for collecting rubbish.


Scomenzere:

old Venetian term for 'to start'.


Scuola:

an old institution -association or corporation-, usually a lay confraternity, but also the building used as its seat.


Scutelarii de petra:

Venetian ceramists and potters.


Sensa:

Ascension. The day that Christians celebrated Jesus Christ's ascension to Heaven.


Sephardic:

a Spanish Jew. From the Hebrew 'Sefarad' (Spain).


Serenissima :

official name of the Venetian Republic.


Serese:

Venetian for 'cherries'.


Sessola:

typical Venetian tool used to bail out water in the bilges of a boat.


Sestieri:

the six districts of Venice.


Signorie:

hereditary absolute form of government in Italy at the end of the 13th Century when the communes began to lose power.


Silting-up or Filling-in:

introduction of turbid waters in a hollow in the ground in order to fill it via precipitation of suspended materials. In Italian: 'colmata'.


Sottoportego:

street that passes under a building.


Spienza:

Venetian for 'spleen'.


Squerarolo:

carpenter specialising in the building of wooden boats, especially gondolas.


Squero :

boatyard where small wooden boats are built, especially gondolas.


Stato da mar:

Venice's maritime possessions


Stradioti:

mounted soldiers from Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Dalmatia used by Venice in the second half of the 16th Century to defend its lands against the Turks. From the Greek 'stratiotes' (soldier).


Subsidence:

geological term indicating the slow lowering of the seabed due to the weight of sediment that builds up above it.


Supplication:

written entreaty asking for something really important.


Synagogue:

from the Greek 'synagoghé', the synagogue is the centre of Jewish life. There are five in Venice, one for each nation or community of Jews.


Tagiar tabarri:

Venetian for 'to gossip'.


Targheri:

makers of masks and face shields in papier-mâché.


Teatri di verzura:

typical component of the Italian garden in the 1700s, given this name (literally 'theatres of greenery') on account of the beautiful effects achieved using just plants.


Telèro:

Venetian for large canvases used by various painters in the 16th - 17th Centuries, depicting historical and narrative cycles.


Thermophiles:

animal species that adapt well to hot climates.


Tiraoro:

craftsmen that drew gold and silver into filigree and ultra-thin sheets (gold and silver leaf).


Tombolo:

cylindrical padded cushion used for sewing.


Tondi:

small sculpted reliefs of clearly Byzantine inspiration.


Towline:

cable used to tow boats or pull them onto land.


Transept:

the space between the nave and the apse in Christian churches.


Trebisonda:

the town and port of Trabzon (Turkey) on the Black sea.


Tremolo:

musical term indicating a quick repetition of the same note or tone.


Tripoli:

the city of Trablus, the second largest in modern-day Lebanon.


Turks:

from the Persian and then Arab 'turk' meaning 'strong population'.


Uscocchi:

population in Bosnia that then fled to Dalmatia, from the Croatian 'Uskoci'. The Uscocchi were also bellicose pirates from Croatia who fought against Venice on the seas on behalf of Austria.


Valli da pesca:

fishing valleys or structures.


Varoteri:

leather tanners.


Velme:

areas without vegetation and normally submerged, only emerging at low tide. Literally, 'humps'.


Veneto-Byzantine:

architectural style dating back to the 1200s, distinguished by series of round arches. More generally, a mix of Venetian and Byzantine customs and genres.


Venezianità:

pointing out neologism todo the que caracteriza to Venecia y los veneciano.


Well curb:

a brick or stone wall around the top of a well.


Yiddish:

language based on High German with Hebrew and Slav borrowings.


Zara:

modern-day city of Zadar in Croatia.


Zecca:

government workshop where coins are produced, from the Arab 'sikka' (minting die).


Zogie:

Venetian for jewels.


Zoia:

precious ceremonial hat worn by the Doge, also known as the 'corno' on account of its horn shape.


Zudegà:

Venetian for 'judged'.


fish-market:

fishmongers.


Venice and its lagoons

World Heritage, a dialogue between cultures: which future?

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