We came to look at Church San Giacomo, Venice's oldest church with beautiful 24 hour clock. However, my favourite thing here was the statue of Il Gobbo Di Rialto (the Hunchback). You could very easily miss him but once you’ve spotted him, you feel like you’ve discovered one of those little hidden gems that you sometimes stumble across when travelling.
He is only 3 minutes from the Rialto Bridge so very easy to get to. To find him, look across from the church for the granite sculpture of a naked man hunched over, supporting a small flight of steps and a pedestal on his back.
Unfortunately there isn’t any information or plaque to let you know the significance of poor old Il Gobbo.
However this is where the Doges’ messengers stood to read out the news of the day to the people and to make official proclamations. It's why Shylock (in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice) asks “What news on the Rialto?”
Il Gobbo was also used in the punishment of minor criminals, like thieves. As an alternative to jail, they could be stripped naked, then have to run from Piazza San Marco to the Rialto. Once then they made it to Il Gobbo, their punishment ended when they kissed the statue. Having seen those awful prison cells at the Doge’s Palace only the day before, I can’t see why you wouldn't have chosen this punishment every time over going to jail. I guess it wasn’t exactly a soft option because crowds would line the streets and jeer and throw things at you but hey, no-one was going to be able to post photos of you on social media so I still think it was the better option.