The Venetian Lagoon and its wooden Poles and Mooring Posts

What are the "Briccole" and what are they used for?

wooden poles made of chestnut or oak on the lagoon of venice

The vertical wooden poles made of chestnut or oak that you see sticking out of the water are called “Briccole” in Italian or "Bricole" in Venetian.


These large poles are scattered throughout the Venetian Lagoon.

On the Grand Canal, they are used to guiding boats and signalling shoal marks, so that boats do not get stuck in the mud.


What are "Paline"?

paline or mooring posts of venice“Paline”, on the other hand, are the typical mooring posts.

Unlike “Briccole”, posts consist of a single pole, used mainly for mooring boats or gondolas.




"Briccole" in Venice

Dama, a bundle of wooden poles

At the crossroads of canals, it is usual to find "la Dama" a nautical structure formed by a bundle of “Briccole”. In the middle of it, a wooden pole usually stands taller than the others. Here the boat signal light is placed.


Colored "Briccole"

There are also striped colored “Briccole”, which belonged to Venetian noble families who had them painted in the family colors. This wood is one of the most durable in the world. Nevertheless, the constant waves and tide movement have a slow yet visible impact. You can see that some are eroded at half their size and covered with seaweed and mussels.

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