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Venice Street Signs
in Venetian Dialect

Venice has plenty of street signs (mostly painted or mounted on the sides of buildings), but they can be confusing if you're looking for a address from a guidebook or a street name on a map.

The reason for the confusion is simple:

Most signs are in Venetian dialect, which can be slightly, moderately, or radically different from standard Italian. For example, the campo and church of "Giovanni e Paolo" (see photo above) is rendered "Zanipolo" in Venetian dialect. Other spellings vary by only a letter or two and aren't likely to cause worry. Our advice:

  • Use common sense: If the map suggests that you're in the right place and the street sign looks reasonably accurate, the odds are good that you aren't lost.

  • Be prepared for surprises: A saint's name might be given to a campo, a calle larga, and a fondamenta, and each variant could be in a different neighborhood. Have a rough idea of where you're going, and you'll be less likely to encounter confusion.

photo

ABOVE: "Giovanni e Paolo" or "Zanipolo"? The spelling depends on whether you're reading Venetian or standard Italian.

Examples of Venetian dialect vs. Italian spellings:

photo Venetian Dialect:
"Marzaria San Zulian"

Standard Italian:
"Merceria di San Giuliano"

 

photo Venetian Dialect:
"Sestier de Santa Crose"

Standard Italian:
"Sestiere di Santa Croce"

 

photo Venetian Dialect:
"Campo de Gheto Novo"

Standard Italian:
"Campo di Ghetto Nuovo"

 

photo Venetian Dialect:
"Campiello de la Madonna"

Standard Italian:
"Campiello della Madonna"

 

photo Venetian Dialect:
"Salizada dei Spechieri"

Standard Italian:
"Salizzada dei Specchieri"


Also see:

 


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