The Cat of the Doge Francesco MorosiniHistorical 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.
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