WELLHEADS ARE THE VISIBLE PORTION OF THE UNDERGROUND CISTERNS FROM WHICH VENETIANS USED TO DRAW THEIR DRINKING WATER.

THE WELLHEADS ARE AN UNKNOWN PIECE OF HISTORY TO PEOPLE OTHER THAN VENETIANS. SINCE THEY STOPPED BEING USED IN THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY, THEY HAVE BECOME SIMPLE STONE STRUCTURES SEEN IN THE STREETS OF VENICE. ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS WAS THE LACK OF A FRESH WATER SOURCE FROM WHICH TO DRINK. THIS PROBLEM WAS SOLVED WITH THE CREATION OF UNDERGROUND CISTERNS LOCATED IN CAMPI, OR SQUARES THROUGHOUT THE CITIES, WHICH WOULD COLLECT RAINWATER AND FILTER IT THROUGH FINE RIVER SAND, AND THEN STORE IT IN A CLAY TANK.

THESE CISTERNS WERE LOCATED ALL OVER THE CITY, AND WERE CAPPED WITH A WELLHEAD. PRIMARILY MADE OFSTONE, THESE WELLHEADS WERE DECORATED WITH CARVINGS OF FLOWERS, ANIMALS, SAINTS, FAMILY CRESTS, OR INSCRIPTIONS. THEY SERVED ALSO AS MEETING POINTS FOR THE CITIZENS FOR CENTURIES. THE WELLHEADS STILL STAND AS AN EVER-PRESENT REMINDER OF THE PAST LIVES OF THOUSANDS OF VENETIANS.

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