With our copy of Secret Venice in hand, we set off to discover some hidden secrets. The first one we came upon was the rat graffiti at the end of Calle del Traghetto on the magnificent Grand Canal.
According to the date above the rat, it has been there since 1644. Rats apparently arrived in Europe from distant lands and brought the plague with them. Somebody clearly thought the rat needed to be represented and carved one into one of the thick columns beside the canal.
There has been a systematic sterilisation of the large colonies of cats in Venice, allowing rats to flourish. It is said that there are 5 rats for every Venetian in the city.
…more Venice soon.