Ponte dei Pugni in Dorsoduro.

Ponte dei Pugni in Santa Fosca.

Battle on the Ponte dei Carmini.
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Ponte dei Pugni in Dorsoduro.


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Ponte dei Pugni in Santa Fosca.


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Battle on the Ponte dei Carmini.



Ponte dei Pugni

The Ponte dei Pugni (Bridge of Fists) in the sestiere of Dorsoduro near Campo San Barnaba takes its name from an ancient custom in Venice: fist fights that took place on many bridges.

On this bridge, two factions – the Castellani from San Pietro di Castello and the Nicolotti from San Nicolò dei Mendicoli – would fight at the top of the bridge.
The aim was to throw one’s opponents into the canal below. The team that managed to keep the most men on the bridge won.
These “battles” gradually became too violent and dangerous and so, after many serious accidents, were banned by the Venetian government in 1705.

The bridge still has four white marble footmarks indicating the starting line for these fights. There are no parapets, thus making it easier for the fighters to fall into the water.


1500  -   DORSODURO - rev. 0.1.5

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