Hidden treasures

Campo delle Gatte in Venice

Unknown places & works

Campo delle Gatte in Venice

The names of the streets in Venice can be very unusual… For example, when you walk around the Castello district, you will come across Campo delle Gatte!

It would be nice to imagine this square full of purring felines seeking the cool breeze under the shadow of houses. However, this name actually means something completely different…

According to Giuseppe Tassini, who wrote a formidable book on Venetian place names in 1863, the name of the square derives from the papal delegates. They were accommodated in the great priory palace of the Order of Malta until the Republic of Venice offered the present Palace of the Nunciature (or Apostolic Nuncios) – formerly known as Gritti Palace - to pope Pius IV.

The humanist Giovanni della Casa, author of the renowned masterpiece ‘Galateo', resided here in 1544 as a papal legate.

Campo delle Gatte is also the place where the poet Ugo Foscolo resided with his mother and sister; his first literary experiences (and amorous experiences, namely with the noblewoman Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi) took place within these walls!

There is a commemorative plaque on the wall of the building dedicated to his memory:


From 1792 to 1797, among self-imparted studies,

here developed the sad and fervent youth

of Ugo Foscolo, who lived dedicated to literature the Italian arms his country

confined by the proud spirit to poverty and exile

raised into the glory of the great poets of the motherland


Would you like to discover many other fascinating curiosities about Venice? Our tour guides can accompany you along the discovery of anecdotes and curious places with an exclusive private itinerary through Venice! Contact us for further details.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...


Venice: Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo on the Grand Canal in Venice and the Polignac princes

Unknown places & works

Along the Grand Canal, near the Accademia bridge, there is a beautiful Renaissance palace built in the second half of the fifteenth cen...


Venice: The foliated room of Palazzo Grimani in Venice

Unknown places & works

In the heart of the Castello district there is one of the most spectacular Renaissance buildings in Venice: Palazzo Grimani. Acquired a...


Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...


Top posts

Verona: The laughing Statue of St Zeno in the Verona Basilica

Historical Curiosities

Visitors to the city of Verona should not forget to plan a stop at the beautiful Romanesque church dedicated to the patron and 8th bish...


Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...


Venice: The hole of the devil at Palazzo Soranzo in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

Near St Mark's Square in Venice, there is a building that has a relief on the facade with a carved angel and above it there is a strang...


Venice: Traditional sailing in the Venice lagoon: the al terzo sail (lugsail)

Local Traditions

Across the Venice lagoon - along the bridge between Venice and Mestre, near Chioggia or when heading to Lido or the Isle of Torcello ...