A characteristic of Venice are the Vere da Pozzo. These ensured the supply of drinking water to the city over the centuries. In the shape of a well, in marble, we can see hundreds of them scattered around the city, today unused and closed but used until 1884, the year of inauguration of the public aqueduct.
In 1500 there were more than 6000.
Below, complex underground cisterns were built, which had to collect rainwater after it had been purified by a system of clay and sand filters, which is why the wells were built in the middle of the fields or courts. Every time we cross a field where there is a well in the middle, we now know what kind of work of art we are treading.
These works were built by expert masons, called the “pozzeri”, gathered in a category that was handed down from father to son and they could not do other work. In the square and in the most important courts, often, the wells were worked by artists or obtained from capitals, the head of colums. An example of an artistic well, dating back to 1400, carved in Istrian stone, worked like a large basket, is visible in the court Gregolina, near Rialto. In the courtyard of the ducal palace, we can admire a real well bronze made.
For further information and images: http://veredapozzo.com/vere-da-pozzo-english.html