Cappe — Mussel seller — Zompini — Arti #15

Gaetano Zompini - Arti che vanno per via - plate 15 - Cappe - Mussel seller

Cappe — plate 15

The Arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia (1753, 1770, 1785, etc.), by Gaetano Zompini (1700–1778), contains sixty engravings of common, mostly poor people, peddling their trades on the streets of Venice in the mid-1700s.


El dì sora i palui xe stà chiapae
Ste cape o da mio Pare, o da qualche altro:
De note mi le vendo ben purgae.


The day over the swamps collected
These mussels by my father, or someone else:
Note that I sell them well cleansed


The shallow areas of the lagoon are called paludi o palui. At low tide they’re exposed, making the collection of mussels and clams easier, if still back-breaking. The literal translation of paludo is swamp, even if the bottom might be sandy and hard.

Many Venetians still do this.

Mussels have to be cleansed by being soaked live in water for some time.

All images

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Zompini, Gaetano. Le arti che vanno per via nella città di Venezia inventate ed incise da Gaetano Zompini, Aggiuntavi una memoria di detto autore. Venezia, 1785.

More translations …

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