Rialto Market shrines
A couple of shrines in the Rialto Market area of Venice~
This first one overlooks the Pescaria (fish market). The tabernacle with gothic columns dates back to the early 1300's, around the same time that the market began. The Madonna and Child relief inside the shrine dates to the 16th century. The "Ave Maria" inscription is faded but still legible, and there are always flowers on this shrine.
This Madonna can be found in the Sotoportego L'Erberia overlooking the outdoor dining area of restaurant Bancogiro. At one time, this area was part of the wholesale market which is now mainly on the other side of the building. The book, I Capitelli di Venezia, reports that at one time, the caretaker of this shrine was a gentleman named Terzantonio Gavagnin who had a wholesale booth underneath the shrine. Mr. Gavagnin was an activist in favor of continuing the tradition of blessing the fruit and vegetable market (erberia) on San Iseppo's (St. Joseph's) feast day which is coming up soon, on March 19.
The capitelli book says that this shrine was restored in 1920. I have a feeling that it's been restored again since then because it has those "go away pigeon" spikes on top. What are those things called?!?