The Venetian lagoon was very early a really important intersection of land as well as inland and maritime commercial itineraries, a junction of communications and routes between the East and the Northern Europe.
Since then the so called ‘Briccole’, that is oak mooring posts, have been used by sailors to orientate and get information regarding that difficult part of the sea, such as the sea depth and the tides interchange.
Even nowadays these lagoon posts are essential in the sailing regulation operating as a real network of roads, signposting ship canals and routes, besides being used for docking.
The origin of the name ‘Briccole’ is undefined, although it probably originates from breeze (the wind), as together with the primordial cycles of water and land, just the wind establishes the tides and the blending of freshwater and saltwater making this heritage unique.
The ‘Briccole’ are made up of two or more posts, mainly in European oak, tied together and dipped into the lagoon for a section of their height, lasting years before being replaced to prevent possible breakages from jeopardising the nautical traffic.
Despite being numbered, the exact amount of these posts is still unknown, though an estimate ranges from 60,000 to 90,000 pieces. Undoubtedly they are considered one of Venice distinguishing features, thus reinforcing not only a true geographical picture but also a widespread heritage of connotations and culture externalizations.
No exaggeration to state that each ‘briccola’ has a say, each ‘briccola’ has a story to tell about this place depicted in myths and legends and apparently not manipulated by man yet.