The silk-weavers guild was one of the most important guilds in Venice. In the 18th century there were about 800 master silk weavers and most of them worked and lived in common areas of Cannaregio, a north-west part of the town. Here Venetian weavers could find an ideal environment, they traded with Jewish merchants of the Ghetto and often worked under the protection of foreign ambassadors. The ambassadors prevented Venetian authorities inspections of the weavers' workshops situated near the embassies, thanks to diplomatic immunity. Sometimes the rent of a house with workshop - silk workshops were very often located in the garrets - was very expensive so the silk-weavers guild bought or built 27 small flats in S. Croce (close to Cannaregio) for the poor or the very old master weavers who could not pay any rent.