Typical for Venice, Campiello S.Marina is a small square, more a courtyard. Surrounded by several buildings, the main use of such squares were not social gatherings, but the collecting of the cities freshwater supply. Located in the center, a venetian well is still visible.
Being build on several islands surrounded by salt water, Venice has no natural fresh water supply, so the people had to resort to different water sources. In that case, a series of wells was build, to collect and store rainwater in underground cisterns. Isolated from the saltwater of the mediterranean see, over 230 of those underground reservoirs are scattered across the city.
Today, Venice is supplied with fresh water from the mainland and the well system is no longer in use, but the wellheads can still be seen all over the city.