Nuns and fishermen: a funny, old, story…

The island of Sant'Angelo della Polvere once housed a convent of Benedictine nuns.  This nunnery went down in history for a funny episode that involved the fishermen of Pellestrina and Malamocco islands (and their wives!!) ... keep on reading and immerge yourself into the secret world of the medieval Venice…

In the ancient times, fishing was one of the most important survival resources of the Venice lagoon. Consequently, it is not surprising that when the wives of the fishermen from Pellestrina and Malamocco saw their husbands' catches drop, they decided to go deeper into the matter (get your accommodation on the Giudecca area: see OUR PROPOSAL).

The husbands blamed the decline of the fish to a year of neediness. Their ladies, however, could not believe these statements and decided to go to a magistrate of the Republic praying to clarify. The magistrate than sent some trusted people who began to follow the boats of the fishermen in secret (get your amazing accommodation by looking at OUR PROPOSAL).

Undoubtedly it must have been a great surprise for the investigators when they discovered that the boats, each evening, made a suspicious stop on the island of Sant'Angelo after fishing. And the surprise must have been even greater when it was discovered that the fishermen used to give their fish to the nuns in exchange for sexual services. It seems that even the nuns used to stand out the windows showing parts of their naked bodies to the fishermen so as to convince them to take a pleasant break.

After discovering the secret, the fishermen's wives asked for an intervention by the institutions. Thus, immediately some prelates were sent to the island to take the necessary measures. Since they were stoned by the nuns and had to escape, a group of cuirassiers were sent and finally, even if under the throwing of boulders, they managed to enter the convent, take the nuns and disperse them to various inland monasteries.

The island was then confiscated and it was used as a powder magazine of the Serenissima (hence the name of Sant'Angelo della Polvere). In the convent's well, however, many oyster shells were found. This clam was extremely expensive even at the time and certainly did not fit into the convent's diet. Evidently the nuns used to be paid a lot for their services ...

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