Campo delle Gatte in VeniceUnknown 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
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