Sotoportego L’Erberia gives a clue as to the business that was once conducted here; the market stalls of Rialto extended to this spot where at one time fruit and vegetables were sold, and the Madonna here gave her blessing on these wares.  (The owner of the stall below also maintained the shrine, which was clearly in his interests for the added value of the Lady’s beneficence).

Perhaps the pigeon droppings also helped the growing process before the defences were erected.




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