Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With its mesmerizing landscapes, elegant buildings, and magical atmosphere, it is difficult to be indifferent to its beauty. A natural beauty that people from every part of the globe are attracted to. This magnificent and unique gem born in the Adriatic Sea in northern Italy represents the destination of many tourists.
However, Venice has also seen turbulent and dark periods throughout its life.
The most known one is the terrible plague that lasted from 1575 to 1577.
This was not the first time the city had been struck by a pandemic: in 1348 many people died and suffered from it. However, the epidemic of the XVI century was crueler because fifty thousand people died, which was about one-third of the citizens during that period.
Those were difficult years indeed, as the plague arrived when the Serenissima Republic was living in a recession. Many territories in the Mediterranean Sea were lost, among which was Cyprus. Consequently, the government decided not to worsen the situation by alarming the citizens. Of course, this was a wrong move, as hiding the gravity of the problem further increased the spread of the plague.
Maybe this is the reason the pandemic was so lethal in the beginning: the authorities were not prepared and skilled for it. Only afterward, did the health authorities take the necessary precautions: they isolated the sick people and tried to find a cure for the disease.
All the suspected ones were isolated in Lazzaretto Nuovo, and after medical controls were brought to Lazzaretto Vecchio if they had contracted the plague. The problem is that there were too many people suspected of infection and the island could not contain all of them.
The well-known plague masks were created in this terrible period, as they allowed doctors to protect them from the plague victims. They were used as a precaution since no cure was found and it was believed that the insalubrious air spread the disease. A mixture composed of aromatic herbs, vinegar, and garlic was put in the curved beak of the mask for purification. In this way, they tried to clean the air and protect the doctors from the pandemic.
For this reason, the Senate ordered to build a church, named the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, as a symbol to free the city from the plague. The project was completed on 20th July 1577, to celebrate the end of the pandemic. On that occasion, a boat bridge was built to allow people to arrive at the Church. Today, the end of the plague is still celebrated on the third Sunday of July on the famous Feast of the Redeemer.
Despite this dark period, Venice is still a cheerful and radiant city, and the colorful creations from Murano give proof of it. At YourMurano, you can see the many objects produced to overcome the plague disaster. In particular, the Glass Clown Sculptures are a funny and colorful way to add an original touch to your home.