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View towards the Dogana and the Santa Maria della Salute from the Riva Degli Schiavoni

Dogana di mare

At the Punta della Salute (the very wedge of the  Dorsoduro island)  is the Dogana di mare (Customs House) it's just east the wonderful Santa Maria della Salute. 

Crowning the corner tower, a seventeenth-century weathercock figure of "Fortune" atop a golden ball, "characteristic," according to Ruskin, "of the conceits of the time, and of the hopes and principles of the last days of Venice". A grand view  can be enjoyed here of St Mark's. (

Henry James, describes the  Dogana in his  "Italian Hours" essay on Venice:

The charming architectural promontory of the Dogana stretches out the most graceful of arms, balancing in its hand the gilded globe on which revolves the delightful satirical figure of a little weathercock of a woman. This Fortune, this Navigation, or whatever she is called--she surely needs no name--catches the wind in the bit of drapery of which she has divested her rotary bronze loveliness. On the other side of the canal twinkles and glitters the long row of the happy palaces which are mainly expensive hotels. There is a little of everything everywhere, in the bright Venetian air, but to these houses belongs especially the appearance of sitting, across the water, at the receipt of custom, of watching in their hypocritical loveliness for the stranger and victim.

By:   Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 1/11/2001
Updated 3/31/2004