WHAT DOES VENICE SMELL LIKE?

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 The smell of Venice kept in bottles in the perfume museum (Palacio Mocenigo)
The smell of Venice kept in bottles in the Perfume Museum (Mocenigo Palace)
If someone asks me, I always answer: "Venice smells like the sea"

1 THE MYTH OF THE BAD SMELL IN VENICE


Many people keep saying that Venice smells pretty bad as a reason not to go to Venice, people who have never been here, usually say it, but I assure you that it is simply a myth and it is not true.

 drinking water from a canal
Drinking water from a canal
The color of the water in the Fondaco dei Turchi (Grand Canal)
The color of the water in the Fondaco dei Turchi (Grand Canal)

Also, many have the mistaken idea that the canals of Venice are stagnant water. nothing could be further from the truth. All the water in the canals is completely renewed naturally every 12 hours due to the tides. Yes, it is true that about 30 years ago, especially in summer, it had an odor, since the plumbing system was very obsolete, but a renovation plan was undertaken by the city council that has worked. It is also true that at some points, there may be a smell of algae on very hot days, but It's about something timely. Today you will only feel the characteristic smell of the sea: fresh, slightly salty, sometimes algae smell.


But the water in the canals is clean, even if you are watching for a while you will see herds of fish pass by, and even crabs on the piers. They say that there were even octopuses during confinement due to covid
Flocks of fish in the canals
Flocks of fish in the canals
Observando los peces pasar
Watching fishes go by

2 WHAT ARE THE SEWERS LIKE?


Many ask me: What happens to the drains in Venice? Is everything really thrown into the canals?


In Venice, as you can imagine, the entire sewage system is based on the water of its canals, which contrary to what many believe, are not stagnant water, because twice a day, the tide, takes the dirty water and brings clean water from the sea.


Venetians say "l'acqua va in mar" and "il mar va in acqua" ("the water goes to the sea" and "the sea goes into the water")

Since ancient times, all houses were equipped with ceramic pipes, called "canoni da necessario" (you understand what it means necessary...) inside the walls, which discharged the sewage into the gatoli, a network of tunnels of masonry whose origin dates back to the 16th century, which carried these waters to the canals.


These gatoli are visible when the tide is especially low as I explained here

 Gatoli visible at very low tide
Gatoli visible at very low tide

But, in the 20th century, the state of these gatoli was deplorable, many were clogged, so it became mandatory to use a septic tank before discharging into a canal. Today, more than 7,000 septic tanks collect the city's sewage and treat it before discharging it into a canal.


That is, the canals of Venice are also its sewage system. A sewage system that twice a day at any time of the year, due to the tides, as if it were human lungs, is filled with clean water and emptied of impure water that is discharged into the lagoon and from the lagoon to the sea.

The tide that rises for 6 hours and releases for the next 6 hours cleans the canals of Venice continuously, it is the "breath of nature"


3 BECAUSE VENICE ALSO SMELLS LIKE PERFUME, DISCOVER WHERE...


We enter the Perfume Museum in a historic building: the Mocenigo Palace

Portego, main entrance to Mocenigo Palace
Portego, main entrance to Mocenigo Palace
Detail of Portego walls (Mocenigo Palace)
Detail of Portego walls (Mocenigo Palace)
El fresco del techo se remonta a la época de la boda del sobrino del dux Alvise IV con Laura Corner: de hecho, se pueden reconocer las figuras alegóricas de Fama, Gloria e Imeneo, protector del matrimonio
The fresco on the ceiling of room 2 dates back to the time of the wedding of the Doge's nephew Alvise IV with Laura Corner: in fact, the allegorical figures of Fama, Gloria and Imeneo, protector of marriage, can be recognized

Venice was also the place that gave rise to the ancient art of perfumery. The merchants of the Serenissima departed along the trade routes to the East. They imported oils, powders, soaps, and liquids from Greece, Persia, Egypt, and other parts of the East. The galleys arrived loaded with ambergris, sandalwood, rare spices, musks and other materials to be transformed by the "muschieri", the alchemists of perfumery. They mixed exotic oils with spices creating perfumes that were kept in glass bottles and were objects of desire for Venetian ladies. All that originality of the muschieri is recreated in the Mocenigo Palace perfume museum, a complete sensory experience in: 1. A room that evokes the laboratory of a 16th century perfumer with recipe books for the manufacture of soaps, oils, pastes, powders and liquids

A 16th century perfumer's laboratory displays a recipe book on the table
A 16th century perfumer's laboratory displays a recipe book on the table
 Another corner of the lab
Another corner of the lab

2. An olfactory map that describes the Spice Routes, fascinating and inaccessible routes traveled by the ancient Venetians to obtain the materials to make perfumes

 Exhibition of spices such as cardamom and ginger
Exhibition of spices such as cardamom and ginger

3. A collection of perfume bottles from different eras from the Monica Magnani collection

 Collection of perfume bottles by Monica Magnani
Collection of perfume bottles by Monica Magnani

4. Rosetti's precious manual on perfumes "I Notandissimi Secreti de l'Arte Profumatoria" from 1555, the first such book in the West,

5. Some real raw materials are also exposed here, many of which are mentioned in the old recipe books found here, and others that are very rare, such as musk obtained from certain animal glands, or the precious ambergris (intestinal secretion of the sperm whale)

6. The rare perfumer's organ in walnut wood from the 19th century, a work tool for inventing perfumes from the more than two hundred essential oils contained in the bottles arranged like an amphitheater.

 19th century walnut wood perfumer's organ
19th century walnut wood perfumer's organ

7. A large table that presents 24 containers with essences that form six of the main olfactory families, a kind of classification of perfumes based on the elements that compose them

 Table with essence containers
Table with essence containers

Puedes experimentar con las grandes familias olfativas de las que nacen todos los perfumes con tarjetas interactivas. Una atmosfera mágica que revela los secretos del arte de la perfumería, entre la cosmética, la medicina y la magia.


And you, what do you think Venice smells like? 👃🏼

4 POINT 5 LAYER "PASEO POR SANTA CROCE"


Discover the map of venecisima.com locations at:

Instructions to use it on Google Maps at:

https://www.venecisima.com/post/mapa-de-los-lugares-de-venecisima-com



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