Well, I Never!

Vera da pozzo in the Corte de l'Aseo, Venice
Tucked away in the Corte de l'Aseo (in the sestiere of Dorsoduro), is a rather unusual sight. Someone has built their garden wall right through an ancient vera da pozzo, or well-head! 

Well-heads are a common feature in most Venetian campi and recall a time, before the arrival of piped water in the 19th century, when rain water was collected in vast underground cisterns. Water was a precious commodity and the well-head was kept locked and only opened for a limited number of hours each day. The key was usually kept by the local parish priest. 
Well head, or vera da pozzo, Ca' d'Oro, Venice
Most well-heads were carved out of white Istrian stone, but occasionally Verona marble, a pinkish and much more expensive stone, was used. In terms of the elaborate details of their decoration, many well-heads are exquisite works of art, as we can see in the courtyard of the Ca' d'Oro. 


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