Hidden treasures

Venice heroine: the old woman of the Mortar

Historical Curiosities
torcello1_big

Venice heroine: the old woman of the Mortar

If Venice was able to remain for many centuries a free and independent republic it was surely down to a humble common woman: Giustina Rossi.

On 15 June 1310 Baiamonte Tiepolo, a rebellious young nobleman, plotted together with other noblemen, a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the Serenissima. Their army had almost made it to St Mark's Square and was preparing to attack the government building. Puzzled by the roar coming from the street, Lady Lucia leant out of her house window and in doing so dropped (purposely?) a heavy mortar that she was holding immediately killing the flag holder of the army of rioters. This incident caused havoc amongst the insurgents who were subsequently easily defeated by the regular army.

As a sign of gratitude, the Venetian Republic granted to Lady Giustina the block of the rent fee, which was never raised untill the fall of the Republic. In remembrance of the event, an elderly lady in 1861, living in the same house, had a high-relief etched depicting the woman who saved with her mortar the city from dictatorship.

If you want to see this peculiar monument, walk along Mercerie dell'Orologio towards St Mark's Square and on the corner with sotoportego del Cappello just look up…

One of the best ways not to miss the incredible surprises that Venice has to offer at every corner is by visiting the city on foot. A walking tour of Venice allows you to come in contact with ‘everyday Venice' and discover, at the same time, the majestic buildings of Saint Mark's area.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

sacrestia-santo-stefano
Unknown places & works

In one of the most beautiful and sunniest squares in Venice there stands the imposing Church of St. Stephen, erected at the behest of t...

View

Vicenza: The Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa

Ponte-degli-Alpini-Bassano
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about bridges, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa, in the Province ...

View

Venice: The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

barche-veneziane
Local Traditions

Those arriving in Venice for the first time often think that the famous gondolas are the only boats plying the city’s canals... In re...

View

Venice: The tomb of Doge Andrea Gritti in the church of San Francesco della Vigna

Andrea_Gritti-tomba
Big Names

For the few daring visitors who decide to head to the Castello district, away from the crowds swarming around Piazza San Marco and the ...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View