BANKS, FLESH, MERCHANTS AND GONDOLAS

-The contract does not give you a drop of blood: it expressly says, "a pound of flesh”. So, take what is yours, your pound of flesh; but if, in cutting it, you spill a drop of Christian blood, your lands and goods will be confiscated, according to the laws of Venice, in favor of the State.


William Shakespeare wrote a play in the present tense, The Merchant of Venice, in which Bassiano, a poor nobleman, asks his rich merchant friend Antonio for the sum of 3000 ducats to allow him to make Portia, a rich heiress, fall in love with him. Let’s say in modern terms that Antonio he had no immediate liquidity and in turn asks for a loan from Shylock, a Jewish usurer.






Shylock agrees to grant the loan provided that, if the sum is not repaid on the date indicated, Antonio will have to give a pound of his own flesh... and we won't reveal any more spoilers, but we will mention that the Doge of Venice also appears on the scene.


The banks have changed somewhat since then, but the appearance of Venice is not so far removed from the setting of the time. The gondolas, which already existed at the time of the publication of the work at the very end of the 15th century, have also changed; now they are loaded with allegorical decorative elements, including the "Capello del Doge", or the "ferro di prua". The markets must not have changed much either, with local trade and local products continuing in this global world.


Al Pacino's performance as Shylock in the Merchant of Venice film is memorable, but our host Chiara will not ask for pounds of flesh and instead she will show us around Venice, its streets (the dry and the aquatic ones) and we will even visit a market in Rialto with her. A luxury within reach from home with our live experiences in Venice.






7 views

Recent Posts

See All