Hidden treasures

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

Unknown places & works
Stemma_Colleoni

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

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View