Hidden treasures

The strange coat of arms on the Bartolomeo Colleoni monument in Venice

Unknown places & works

The strange coat of arms on the Bartolomeo Colleoni monument in Venice

In Santi Giovanni and Paolo Square, in the Castello area in Venice, there is a beautiful equestrian monument, erected here in 1488 by the Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio.

In Venice personal commemorative monuments were prohibited, but the warlord Colleoni left a huge sum of money to the Republic, on condition that a monument was erected...

Not everybody notices that the coat of arms, located on the base of the statue, is very special.

In fact, three human testes are represented on the shield! The motif for this rather ‘embarrassing' coat of arms is very simple: Bartolomeo Colleoni was suffering from the disease orchitis, and had three testicles; a detail from which was derived his "special" surname.

Bartolomeo Colleoni was very proud of his anatomical detail, since he had it depicted in the coat of arms of his family and even on his tomb in the cathedral of Bergamo!

If you found this article interesting and want to know more Venetian secrets, contact us for a private tour of Venice with our guide Francesca!  

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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