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0047 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 47 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD, THE CORTE DEL MILION One thing at least ORLANDINI'S researches have made certain, that the Corte del Milion round which the house, with access to two canals and to a common way, was grouped was within the present theatre walls. When one tries to fit the old descriptions of parts of the property (dd. 14, 42, 90, 92) to the plans, the task does not seem to be hopeless with the earlier one of 1319, though our detailed knowledge is still too small to secure definite results ; but the fifteenth century documents, where each of the properties is made to abut at both ends on the same thing, baffle me completely.

Early in the fifteenth century the property was still divided between the descendants of Marco Polo senior and those of Marco Polo called Milion (Marci Pauli dicti Milion), the former represented by Maria Trevisan and Zaneta Corner, sisters of the last Marco, and the latter by Marco Bragadin descended from Fantina Polo and Marco Bragadin. The municipal records of Venice were destroyed by fire in 1513, but from the later returns ORLANDINI has found that in 1514 Zuan Batta Trevixan owned two houses and two shops in the Chorte al Milion ; in 1537 Zaccaria Trevisan owned nine houses and a shop in the Cale del Milion and Zuane Bragadin owned ten houses and a shop in the court of the Chà Milion. It is clear from this that the old house was no longer a mansion but divided into small tenements in very bad repair and threatening to fall (malissimo condizionate et menaze ruina). The smaller property of the Trevisan began to pass by marriage to Antonio dalla Vecchia in 1566, as the larger Bragadin share had done to Zuane Balbi in 1536.

The name Cà Milion seems to appear first in the will of Maria Trevisan, 1455 (mie chaxe the si chiama dal milion d.93) ; the Corte del Milion, as we have seen, in 1514. The Calle del Milion, which was probably the present Calle del Teatro, is mentioned in 1507 when the Silk Office, whose old door still exists at the south-east corner of the Church (Y. I. facing p. 30), resolved to open two windows in their wall versus callern milioni (Archiv. Arte della Seta, b. 65o istromenti No. I). By 1712 it had become Calle dell'Opera. In 1712, too, we first find Corte del Sabbion ; in 1783 Corte Sabioncra (Catastico delle case, 1712 ; Archiv. ser. Signoria, processo 132, b.34). In neither 1712 nor 1783 does Milion appear in any place name. In 1876 the name Corte del Milion was mistakenly given to the Sabbionera, and ORLANDINI ends his pamphlet with ` ` it would be well to restore to the Corte del Milion the name of Sabbionera, familiar in the past."