June 11th — Feast of San Barnaba

Jun 11 | A Venetian Almanac

In the later days of the Republic, impoverished nobles were (modestly) lodged at the public expense in this parish, and were known consequently as ‘barnabotti’.

“Too proud to work – and lose their patent of nobility – too stupid to play any part in the Government, they led lives of shabby gentility, preying on the State for lodgings and a small dole which they augmented out of the pockets of tourists,” recounts Hugh Honour in The Companion Guide to Venice.

They could also occasionally earn a little extra by selling their Great Council votes.