Venezia header: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

CÒDEGA

(Personal night guide)

If you went to assist a play or music in a theater in Venice, in those times, you wanted to make it back safetely home, even if you had drank a couple extra glasses and preferably not being assaulted by thieves.

And in Venice until 1720 when it was started to put street lights, night was for sure was pitch black outside and there could have been a thick fog during Carnival time.

Have you ever experienced fog in Venice? The time you will, you would love to have a "còdega" taking you home, trust me, even nowadays, just imagine back then.

The còdega was considered a very menial job, usually, it was done by the "Furlan": people from Friuli, low-class immigration at the time, quite despised.

It is an extra occupation that the Furlan adds with the other menial jobs done during the day, but … "how can you trust these crude people that would do anything just to get some money, coming from such an infertile land!": this is Giovanni Grevembroch giving his own opinion.

BTW Friuli is just some 150km from Venice, quite a beautiful place, tough, proud and hard-working people there.

"De notte ora ai teatri, ora al Redutto,
Son quel che col feral serve de lume;
E pur che i paga mi so andar per tutto."

"At night, being it a a theater or at the Ridotto,
I am the one that with the lantern serves as light,
As long as they pay me, I know how to go anywhere."

Engraving by Gaetano Zompini: "Fitta Palchi" - 1785
Gaetano Zompini: "Còdega"
engraving (1785)

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