Author Topic: Pozzi, Piombi and New Prisons  (Read 827 times)

Ubaldo Zorzi

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Pozzi, Piombi and New Prisons
« on: 30 September, 2016, 11:11:48 AM »
The prisons in Venice were allocated inside the Doge's palace, first and the worst were inhospitable dank cells called Pozzi, which means wells in English.  It is dark place, dug in the few metres of solid ground under Ducal's palace, but still the moisture inevitably came through its walls. Air there is suffocating, food inedible and scarse, mice and insects come out in the night from rotten wooden boarding and eat sleeping prisoners alive. Many of them found in this cells their terrible death. Those 18 dark cells is nightmare for every criminal in the territory of Republic.


Corridor in Pozzi

The famous Piombi are located under the roof, to which they owe not only the name, but also extremly hot temperatures in summer time and ice-cold in winter. They are used for upper-class prisoners and those who awaits their trial because conditions there are harsh, but still way better than in Pozzi. The last and the newest were New Prisons which  are not in the main building of palace, but one has to cross Palazzo river by Bridge of Sights.


Piombi


Prison's yard


Ubaldo Zorzi

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Looming disaster
« Reply #1 on: 30 September, 2016, 12:38:01 PM »
Ubaldo came from his house and workshop to workroom of Venetian captains. It was a small hidden room close to New Prisons, maps were on the walls and a table by a small barred window with view to Venice lagoon. Nothing luxurious, only plain and practical furniture. As every day his first duty was to read his correspondence and messages from merchants, which were obliged to write him a dettailed report about foreign countries.

"What do we have here today?" ask himself Ubaldo thoroughly examining letters. Looked at the seal: "Well, a letter from Byzantine empress hmm... hm.. hmmmm" Short silence. "Linen grows the best on flat terrain with hot and moderate temperature, as expected? It's nice from her to remember on me and say thanks." Then there was a letter from a merchant who had been robbed in Eastern Mediterranean, Ubaldo could do nothing to help him or stop pirates there, hand of the Republic reached only to Adriatic sea and go further is always risky. Thankfully Venetian system of sharing transport by many merchants and dividing among them not only profit but also losses caused that it might harm many but effectively did not ruin anybody.

The last letter was the most interesting of all,  it came from his friend from Caffa, city on the shore of Black sea owned by Venice few years later. Then it became Genoese collony and finally it came under control of foreign nations. But still the old style of life managed to survive, even though it is harshly supressed. The main factor in the letter was a fear, great and immense fear about future, his contact was begging to send him and his family and friends a ship to transport him back to civilized world, to Venice or Veglia. Ubaldo started to read some parts of the letter, which seemd to him as the most important, aloud with occasional commentary. " 'Principality of Thedoro is under pressure...' ...hmm.. it's miracle that it even survived up to this day. Maybe it is because it is hidden in hills and those warlords from mainland know nothing about their custom and style of life. They collect tribute and go back to beat boars with bare hands and drink mead..... 'Our religious customs are heavily oppresed....' ...hmm... 'In the South and East is going something wrong, very wrong, Ubaldo. The Kipchaks speak about great army gathering in the East, like in the age of our fathers. They even say that the great city, known as Il-khanat was sacked and armies of Golden horde joined and massacred many civilian across all Il-khanat land.' " Turned to next page. " 'Local skirmishes over Georgian border with Nakhs....' Ill news indeed.... 'Emperor of Trebizond started to muster his forces and even send secret emissary to our cities with plea to help...' 'Barbarian may emerge as in the last time close to Holy City. Byzantines, Kings of Jerusalem and Mamluks are highly nervous,  a disaster is going to happen, I feel it in the air. Please send a fast ship for us, we were always humble servants of Venice'" Another short silence. After a while Ubaldo called his servant. "War is coming to East, dear Simone, call everybody to Pozzi, we have to talk!"
« Last Edit: 30 September, 2016, 12:48:13 PM by Ubaldo Zorzi »


Ubaldo Zorzi

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Meeting in darkness
« Reply #2 on: 02 October, 2016, 06:12:47 PM »
Ubaldo with two guards by his side crossed Bridge of Sights and entered  the basement, and continued into his secret working room, where six men were awaiting in the darkness. Only two oil lamps ilumined room. Six men who were not of noble blood, but Ubaldo have chosen them personally for their skills and most importantly for their loyalty. Three former guards, two former custom officers and one soldier, important yet unknown group.

"Good morning gentemen, we have the most important matter to risolve, thing we have to deal with is nothing more than shift of power, maybe even break of ballance in far East, where as you certainly know we have serious bussines interests. My knowledge is incomplete... you know that my possibiiltes in foreign intelligence are resticted, so I have to rely on merchants and their messages often contradict, but they have something in common. Winds of war are blowing in the East, something will happen shortly and we have still here our contacts, our men women and childrens, in short Venetians. Thus I have summoned you to tell me your point of view." Took a map of Mare magiore which he had brought with himself and placed it on a table.



"We have to rescue our men from Caffa, which is here." Pointed. "Therefore I suggest first to pay visit in Constantinopolis and then go straight to Caffa." One man gestured that he would like to speak: "I share you fear about our people in former collonies, but we should remind simple fact, that they are  no more in our hands. We just cannot sail there, land and take them with us. They would try to stop us, to imprison us or most probably to kill us." Ubaldo nodded. "I am well aware of precariousness of this journey, we will go to Caffa in disguise as merchants. Zimone, go to the Arsenal and prepair a ship with the best crew you can find and remember, it should like like a merchant ship at all costs. Any objection?" Silence. "Good!" Why he even called the group when he decided everything by himself? Ubaldo probably wanted to feel important, thought that someone would had an interesting idea, let others know what is planning or maybe he was fond of speaking, I am not sure, you choose.
« Last Edit: 02 October, 2016, 11:53:55 PM by Ubaldo Zorzi »