Postcard #1: The plague doctor
Since 1347 and for over three centuries, the plague ravaged Europe several times leaving millions of victims. To fight it, cities organized the first lazarets and invented the quarantine and later, doctors
visiting the infected protected themselves wearing beak-like masks. The mask, often seen today in Venice during the carnival, was filled with aromatic herbs to filter the air and stop the disease!
Postcard #2: Marco Polo in captivity
In the summer of 1298, the Venetians and the Genoese confronted in a naval battle off the island of Korčula (Croatia). The Genoese came out as victorious and captured part of the Venetian fleet, including Marco Polo. It was precisely during his imprisonment in Genoa that the Venetian traveler
dictated his famous “Book of Travels” to a cellmate, Rustichello da Pisa.
Postcard #3: United by Malvasia
Monemvasia is a small fortified Greek municipality in the Peloponnese. It’s been built on the south-eastern side of an islet. In the 13th century, the Venetians discovered excellent wine here and decided to bring the vines first to the upper Adriatic. The Venetian pronunciation of Monemvasia was “Malvasia”, the name that remained and indicates a type of wine today uniting many places in the Mediterranean!
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