Tag Archives: Bajamonte Tiepolo

A couple of updates

Some of you may recall this post, from ‘way back in February. I was supposed to let you know if I was able to see the “column of infamy”.


After many visits, emails and phone calls to the office of the Director of MUVE  (Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia), I was given permission by Doctor Tonini to see the column, in the Ducal Palace.

At 10 on the appointed morning, which was just 3 days before I was leaving Venice to return home, I was met by a custodian of the Palace and escorted up stairs, down stairs, through passages and locked doors until we finally reached the magazzino where this relic of history (and lots of other tempting artifacts) were stored. I wish you could see the huge key he used to open the door of the treasure trove!

Tucked away into a dusty corner, not looking at all important, we finally found what is left of the column. It was about a metre high, with steel reinforcing beams visible. The side with the inscription was facing the wall, unfortunately, but what I could see was very faint and worn. I was so aware of the privilege I had been granted to be able to see this column I’d only read about. I hope one day it will be restored, and placed back into the Campo Sant’Agostin.

My only regret is that I was not allowed to take a photo to share with you. But, I have the image of the column in my mind’s eye: that can’t be taken from me.

The other subject is much closer to home, and I’m free to take photos whenever I want to. I have to report that absolutely nothing is happening to this little pupa, but I don’t know how long it should be before the little creature emerges. Is the insect dead? Am I too impatient?







Filed under Atherton, Venice

You were a very naughty boy, Bajamonte

Some friends sent me in search of the bakery  (panificio) of Signor Giulio Cortella, the subject of the article linked below, and at 93, surely the oldest baker in Venice, if not all of Italy. His story is fascinating, please take the time to read it, it is in English.  (The link will open in another page.)


I found the bakeshop at  2321, Campo Sant’Agostin in San Polo, and spoke to both of his friendly, proud sons.


"Good bread"

“Good bread”

As I left the shop, clutching my purchases (the second fritelle of the day: I’ve well and truly fallen off the wagon), and a loaf of kamut bread which proved very tasty, I happened to notice this stone in the pavement outside (yet another) souvenir shop.


There had to be a story to this. I saw an elderly gentleman with his shopping trolley, and spoke to him. He was a proud Venetian through and through, but kindly spoke Italian to me. He explained it marked the spot where once stood a column of infamy dedicated to Bajamonte Tiepelo. Just around the corner is this nizioleto (street sign).


Bajamonte Tiepolo was among those who in 1310, organised a conspiracy to overthrow the Doge of the day (Pietro Gradenigo), and the Great Council of Venice. The plot failed, and Bajamonte was exiled to Istria, he was condemned to damnatio memoriae (he was not to be remembered), his house that was in the location above was destroyed.

After Tiepolo’s house was demolished, a column of infamy was erected bearing these words:

“This land belonged to Bajamonte and now for his iniquitous betrayal, this has been placed to frighten others, and to show these words to everyone forever.” (Wikipedia)

Bad Boy Bajamonte sent a henchman to destroy this column; he was stopped before he destroyed it entirely.  The stone I saw was placed there in 1785, and the words mean “Location of column of Bajamonte Tiepolo 1310”.

The remains of the column are supposedly in the storage area for the Civic Museums of Venice, in the Piazza. I asked at the Correr museum, but they didn’t know where to find it. I looked carefully in the cortile of the Correr, with no success. I’ve got the contact details, and I shan’t give up the search easily! I’ll let you know the outcome, promesso!

(PS There’s a lot more to the story of Bajamonte Tiepolo, refer to a good history of Venice, or search online.)

This lady featured in his downfall.



Filed under Venice