In Venetian dialect the word “Sotoportego” describes a passageway between “calli” (lanes), “Fondamenta” (quaysides) and “campi” (squares). They cut through a house or a building, and were created as shortcuts.
They are not something unusual. There are more than 200 in Venice. You cannot walk through the city without going through at least one of them. They are relatively dark and sombre and travelling through them at night can be a creepy experience. Sometimes they are poorly-lit. On closer inspection, though, you discover graffiti, adverts, ancient votive niches, love messages, bizarre lanterns that have been there for quite some time.
Going through them is a feast for the eyes. I would almost say that a “Sotoportego” is a wide-open window that gives you a different view of the city.
This book will only show you a few – taking photos of all of them would be almost impossible. But I hope you will sense their fascination, the sound of the steps of the passers-by, the light that floods them which so that your eyes close slightly. I hope you will feel all this. That’s all.