Many times, as I walked past, or through, the Giardini in Castello, I would idly note this statue. I always assumed the subject was an airman. But, during this last trip, I stepped closer to the statue, and now I saw more details, including the two dogs , the bindings around his legs and the strange footwear.
Research on the web didn’t give me too much to go on, but there was a translation of the inscription on the statue.
He was part of an expedition to the Arctic in 1905, (see below) apparently under the sponsorship of Prince Luigi of Savoia, Duke of Abruzzi, who was the grandson of King Vittorio Emanuele II. The Prince was himself a mountaineer and explorer, and had tried to reach the North Pole in 1899-1900.
Francesco Querini never came back from the 1905 expedition. I don’t know who raised this memorial, but part of the inscription mentions him being a son of Venice. I couldn’t find any information about an Italian Arctic expedition in 1905, either.
Edited for this update: Francesco was part of the 1900 trek, not an expedition in 1905. Thanks, B, for sending me off to check that!
And, I’ve just received confirmation from a source in Venice, that it is indeed “Querini”. Thank you, A.