Hidden treasures

The Cat of the Doge Francesco Morosini

Historical Curiosities

The Cat of the Doge Francesco Morosini

The city of Venice is definitely a place where cats have always played a key role, since they were very helpful to keep mice away from the holds of ships, but they were also very popular as a pet.

Among the famous Venetian cats we must surely remember in particular the one that belonged to the great Admiral of the Venetian fleet Francesco Morosini (later elected Doge in 1694).

The great leader, who for his great deeds in Greece was nicknamed 'the Peloponnesian', had a very special character: he never married (he was indeed suffering from an almost pathological misogyny) and left his entire fortune to the descendants of his brothers, as long as they forever called their sons Francesco; his only great love was a cat, which he never parted from and with which he had a portrait of himself made. When the kitten died, Morosini had her embalmed with a mouse between its legs.

The casket with the precious animal passed through the descendants of Morosini until 1800, when all the collections of the great admiral were donated to the city. At the moment, it can be seen in the halls of the Natural History Museum.

Recently restored, the Natural History Museum of Venice offers an interactive and modern guided tour capable of involving large and small groups. The Cetacean Gallery, the aquarium of tegnùe, dinosaur skeletons, images, reproductions and multimedia devices to learn and understand the evolution of life on our planet since its inception to the present day.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...


Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...


Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...


Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...


Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...


Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....


Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...