An Impressive Theory

An impressive theory : the commercial activity and the presence of a Commercial establishment of Venetian origin. The Italian term "Fondaco" (from the Greek π?νδοκος, Accommodation, via Arabic: funduq, literally means a "warehouse") is a building of medieval origin, that in coastal cities was used as a warehouse and, often, also as accommodation for foreign merchants. 

Usually it consisted of a space, of variable sizes, on the ground floor or in the basement. These "Fondaco" were found in Mediterranean cities such as Genoa, Naples and Venice. In Venice there still exist such commercial establishments, known as "fonteghi" in the Venetian dialect, including Fontego dei Turchi and Fontego dei Tedeschi. These are situated on some of the main canals of Venice. Records show the presence of Venetians in Rovereto from 1400 to circa 1500. It may therefore be possible to claim that the Casa dei Turchi was used in a similar way to the fondacos in Venice by traders from the east. The Venetian government of that time may have set up a commercial establishment in the city of Rovereto which was relocated in the 17th cent. to Via Santa Maria in the new San Tomaso quarter south of the city, where the "Casa dei Turchi" now stands.

This theory, which points again to the reason for the name and architecture of the house, suggests that the latticed wooden verandas were of Turkish origin and installed by Turkish merchants who lived in the house at some point. 

It may be a more convincing theory than the legend that at some unknown time in history a Turk settled here and had the Arab verandas built to protect the women of the house from the prying eyes of the castle’s army across the river. Research of the city's archives is on going to verify this hypothesis.


< The Flume and the Textile CraftThe House and the River >