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The Venetian wooden terrace: Venice seen from the top

Venetian roofs

In Venice there are many buildings that are topped with wooden terraces. In the twelfth century Venetian houses were just made out of wood and had terraces parallel to the main facades. As they collapsed very often the government decided to remove them especially those along main streets and canals, and later they were added on top of the roofs.

Small rooftop garden in the foreground

What function did they have?

They served for different purposes. It was one of the favorite places of many women, who used to dry clothes outside, did some gardening and watered flowers.


Starting from the 1500s they were used for another purpose. Local women took advantage of the sun rays to lighten their hair. The most fashionable color was the blond invented by one of the most famous painters, Titian, who painted his female subjects blond and with fair skin.

Violante, Titian’s painting

It was a ceremony that most of the women followed in order to be fashionable but In order to obtain this highlighted effect they followed to the letter the recipes suggested by manufacturers and sellers of perfumes. A straw hat with no top served for the purpose, where their long hair was rolled up to dry.

Iron wooden terrace

The wooden terraces left in the city are subject to the Superintendency, that in recent times has decided not to give so many permits for new ones!

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