The sestiere of Cannaregio is the largest and most populated sestiere of Venice. Cannaregio in fact occupies almost the entire part of the city located north of the Grand Canal. The main water course is the Cannaregio Canal, which links the Grand Canal to the Lagoon. The name is thought to come from the extensive reed thickets which existed in the area when it was still uninhabited.
On the extreme tip of the sestriere of Cannaregio, on the building overlooking the lagoon, for over a century now, a light shines out to sea from a large iron lantern which, considering its size, has probably always operated as a lighthouse. This unique structure has, over recent months, been restored in the Neri SpA restoration workshops.
A large part of the lantern’s decorations had been badly and irreparably damaged, unlike the structure itself which Neri managed to save.
The parts destroyed by damp and the salt air were reproduced in steel and returned to their original positions.
The painting process involved a number of different stages such as:
- soaking in a bath of primer;
- subsequent application of filler;
- second soaking in a bath of primer;
- coat of primer applied by spraying;
- finally, application of a green top coat – green is the characteristic colour of Venetian lamp posts.
Finally, violet-coloured screens were mounted to recall the original glass ones made in olden days by the Murano glassworks, and a LED source was fitted to convey some cutting-edge technology to this magnificent original piece of work.
Now the lantern is back guarding the extreme tip of Cannaregio, much to the admiration of the passengers of the hundreds of canal boats which, day after day, criss-cross the lagoon.