Since 1400 the lagoon of Venice has been dotted with big posts which rise from the water in groups of three to mark the sections of the canals that are navigable even at low tide. Unlike the more famous thin poles used as mooring posts for gondolas, these markers or briccole, as they are called locally, accompany travellers throughout their journey, inwards or outwards, helping them reach their destination rather than run aground. This strange tripod that seems to walk on the water marks a limit, indicates a line to follow beyond which it is inadvisable to venture... The same, if you think about it, can perhaps be said of a much more mundane object, the stool. Set in a line one next to the other opposite the bar in any city and usually situated near the entrance, they show the traveller where the dry area starts...or, if you prefer, they help the unlucky person escape misfortune by indicating the exit...
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