Francesco Querini

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.

Francesco Querini

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 expedition. I don’t know who raised this memorial, but part of the inscription  mentions him being a son of Venice.

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.



Filed under Venice

20 responses to “Francesco Querini

  1. Hold on. says he was with Cegni, see »La spedizione è composta da 11 italiani: Umberto Cagni, Francesco Querini, il medico Achille Cavalli Mulinelli, quattro guide: Petigax, Felix Ollier, Cyprien Savie e Alexis Fenoillet; due marinai: Giacomo Cardenti e Zsimone Canepa; un cuoco: Gino Gini. Oltre a otto norvegesi alla guida della nave.« – Fritz@Joern.De


    • Thank you for your interest and research into Sig. Querini! It looks like I’ll have to modify my post, based on what you have found. I always go and say “Buongiorno” to him and his dogs when I am in Venice.

      Thank you for visiting my blog, Fritz.


      • Sorry for the typing error: It must be »Cagni« (not »Cegni«); I found no way to edit my entry. No problem. How’s your Italian? In »1899-1900.Verso il Polo Nord con la Stella Polare« at it says more about his death: »La Squadra di Querini, Stokken e Ollier rientrò verso Tepliz ma non vi giunse mai: sono dispersi nel grande pack artico.« – »The group of Querini, Stokken and Ollier [they had separated into three groups] went back towards Teplitz, but never made it there. They were dispersed in the grand arctic pack [ice].« Yesterday during mass I had to think of them, may they rest in peace.


        • It’s a shame we can’t edit our own comments, on the blogs of others.

          That Duke was certainly a restless soul, it seems.

          How did you get interested in Francesco Querini? Or, was it the Arctic explorers in general who drew your attention?


  2. You might have a look at – a memorial for Francesco Querini who »did not return with the winners« from the pole. Was he with Ziegler ( Fritz@Joern.De


  3. Well, we two Yvonnes know where to get our next key ring, or personal toothbrush, eh?

    There’s quite a lot of detail in that sculpture. Do you want to have a close look, next time?


  4. julie

    He does have a very “haunting” look does our Francesco almost frozen considering his ordeals.

    Re Yvonne … Yvonne is a very popular name here in the UK .. i’m sure you would find your cup or key ring for that matter


  5. Yes, I did mean Cannaregio, Yvonne.


  6. The sestiere where you’ll stay is loaded with interesting findings, “other” Yvonne. (There aren’t that many of us in the world, I don’t think.)


    • Yvonne

      Don’t know, maybe you didn’t get my last PM. We will be in Cannaregio,
      is that the one you refer to? We try to stay in new area each time, next time Dorsoduro. But really looking forward to Cannaregio this year.
      Your right not many of us, and never find the “office cup” with our name.

      “Other Yvonne” just starting my Venice education 🙂


  7. Yvonne

    Just did your “virtual” walk through Dorsoduro. Lots to look for now.
    Good Stuff!! You got to love the faithful dogs.


  8. Hello, Annie. I would say they were to represent the sled dogs that were used on the expedition. I’m definitely going to be spending more time with Francesco, next visit. Isn’t it something, how he has reached out to us, from so long ago?


  9. It’s an interesting sculpture, almost looks like his face is made of a different material than the rest. Do you know how the dogs fit into the story?


  10. Hi Yvonne….I love his wide-eyed robot gaze.
    Yesterday I pulled out my copy of ‘Venice To-Day’… was written in 1894. It’s one of my favorite books….full of the author’s paintings/illustrations. It’s so odd to think that she wrote this BEFORE Francesco headed out on his expedition.


  11. Bert

    That would be me, then?


  12. Michelle

    Too funny, Yvonne! I googled his name and where did it take me??? Your blog!


  13. Thanks for sharing Francesco Overini’s story!


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