In the eleventh century in Venice candles were used for night lighting. Later they were replaced with lanterns lit with oil lamps because the risk of fire was high.
Santa Marina tabernacle
Tabernacles with votive lamps were placed in the squares, near bridges and close to canals so that one could move around more easily at night.
Gondoliers had their lamps for their working place
In the mid of the 1400 the Republic of Venice decreed that it was necessary to bring a lantern if one went out at night. Light bearers called ‘codegas’ were hired above all by aristocrats to accompany them to theatres, gambling houses and places of entertainment. In the late 1700s public lamps were nearly one thousand, and the ‘codegas’ were no longer needed. Some were employed as lamp lighters and some lost their jobs. During the Austrian domination lamp posts were lit with gas and from 1922 with electricity.
A three arms lamp post
Their screens, amethyst coloured acrylic sheets, are replaced from time to time and were initially made in Murano glass.
The three lights lamp posts with a green coloured stem , cleaned and repainted in the 1980s, are the most common ones you can spot out while you walk around the city. There are just one hundred pieces left of those prototypes.
A four arms lamp post in Saint Mark’s Square during a day of fog
In St. Mark’s Square the lamp posts are adorned by four lights. Unfortunately there are just ten pieces of those as many were damaged by high water over the years.
Base of a lamp post at Riva degli Schiavoni
Along the quayside a few bridges away from the famous square, there are four French-made lamp posts that were full of rust and were also recently cleaned. Their base is animated by four winged lions and their columns are finely decorated with branches and leaves.
A lamppost in a narrow street
In the backstreets you will see the one light lamps with no stems positioned above on a higher level to illuminate streets at night.
A lamp post near Mary and Jesus sheltered by an umbrella
Be careful that pigeons perch on any street lamp, so do as the Venetians do. We advise you to look up sometimes!