Campo Santo Stefano (St. Stefano Square)

[historic image of Campo Santo Stefano]This was the favorite meeting-point of the Venetians. It was famous for the "liston" of Santo Stefano, which was a walk down a grassy pavement which was placed across the square. During the carnival, the custom was to lay out the liston after 11pm where it would stay until the early hours of the morning. This was not to be missed by masqueraders craving admiration by onlookers. Many amorous relations were born through walking up and down this square and many Venetians found themselves duped into courting stupendous ladies only to discover, alas, that beneath the mask was just a common woman. To enjoy such a spectacle, many chairs were placed in the square. Later, during the final years of the Serenissima Republic, the "liston" was moved to St Mark’s Square.

There were amazing jousting tournaments and extravagantly dressed knights would throw eggs full of perfumed water up to the windows where the most beautiful ladies would be sitting intent on admiring the festivities below. The chronicles tell us of one such occasion on 17th February 1548 when Antonio Castrioto duke of Ferrandina was killed in a masked festival at Murano during a quarrel with a jealous husband ?

Bullfights were very famous and much loved by the Venetians, the last one of which took place on 22nd February 1802.