December 29 & 31, 2010, January 1, 2011
For centuries wells have been an essential element of Venetian daily life. Usually located in the middle of squares and courtyards, on higher ground, the wells supplied the population's freshwater. The way they functioned was quite simple: the rainwater was channelled through stone gratings into a sandy sump that acted as a
real filter, and was then collected in a central cistern situated below the well-head. A funnel-shaped layer of clay was placed around the well to prevent saltwater infiltrating. The water was drawn up in buckets. Strict laws regulated the drawing of water and also controlled the purity of the font: it was absolutely prohibited to approach the well with soiled hands or containers or to let animals drink from it.