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

CHOPINES - Wooden Shoes Extenders

Against muddy streets and in favor of Elegance

TOP - Two models of Chopinhes. The highest one was more for looks than anything, because balance was really precarious.
BOTTOM - Pietro Bertelli: "Cortigiana Veneta" engraving (1594)

Chopines are a type of women's platform shoes that was popular in the XV, XVI and XVII centuries.

Sort of wooden clogs, initially just used to help to avoid dirtying your feet with the mud that was in all streets in those times, including Venice.

But then it became also a fashion/economic must-have: the higher the chopines, the higher the status of the wearer, reaching sometimes the 20 inches height.

You needed somebody to help you walk, at this point, and two servants would solve the problem.

The Maggior Consiglio di Venezia, on March 2, 1430 came out with a law, to limit the height of chopines to four inches, but this regulation was widely ignored.

Chopines were usually made of wood or cork, the classier ones covered with leather.

Venetian women are not known - even nowadays - for being "that tall", and fashion is always fashion, and what you don't do for being the most attractive!

Chopines helped a little bit.

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 1997-2024 - visit my website www.delpiano.com