Wide view of Venice: Piazza San Marco - Riva degli Schiavoni

The CÒDEGA: theater personal night guide

If you went to attend a play or music in a theater in Venice, in those times, you wanted to make it back safetely home, even if you had drank a couple extra glasses, preferably safe and not being assaulted by thieves.

In Venice - until 1720 when they started to put street lights - night outside was for sure pitch black, and there could have been a thick fog during Carnival time.

Have you ever experienced fog in Venice? The time you will, you would love to have a "còdega" taking you home, trust me, even nowadays, just imagine back then.

The còdega was considered a very menial job, and usually it was done by the "Furlan": people from Friuli, low-class immigration at the time, quite despised.


"De notte ora ai teatri, ora al Redutto,
Son quel che col feral serve de lume;
E pur che i paga mi so andar per tutto."

"At night, being it a a theater or at the Ridotto,
I am the one that with the lantern serves as light,
And as long as they pay me,
I know how to go anywhere."

Engraving by Gaetano Zompini: "Còdega" - 1785
Gaetano Zompini: "Còdega"
engraving (1785)

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 1997-2021 - visit my website www.delpiano.com