Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy

Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy. Various aristocratic families banded together to overthrow the Doge, that rapidly ended in failure.

You can still see today, at various sites in Venice, evidence of the failed coup and those conspiratorial families involved.

  • The Old Lady and the Mortar
  • The Paving Stone of the “Column of Infamy”
  • The Emblems on the Flag Pole in Campo St Lucia in San Marco district.
  • The Lion of St Mark, carved in stone on each of the conspirator’s houses.
  • Links (internal-external)


Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy. The Old Lady and the Mortar.

Below the Clock Tower in Piazza San Marco, is the beginning of the famous “Mercerie”; now shopping lanes linking the religious centre of St Mark and the commercial centre of the Rialto.

A few metres into the Merceria on the left, is the entrance to the “Sotoportego del Cappello Nero“. Above the entrance, is the reminder of a famous incident in the history of the Venetian Republic; that took place on the 15th June 1310.


The Old lady and the Mortar. Venice


Led by a certain Bajamonte Tiepolo, two aristocratic families, the Tiepolo and Querini and others; led an uprising against Doge Pietro Gradenigo. Forewarned by informers, things did not go as planned. The Doge’s guards, cut off the access to the palace and fighting started in Piazza San Marco. The rebels retreated into the Merceria, making for the Rialto.

Observing these events from her balcony, was an old lady known in records as simply “Guistina” or “Lucia Rosa”. She dropped an old mortar onto the fleeing gang and killed the standard bearer (photo above). Directly where he fell, the pavement is marked by a dated white stone (photo below). The old lady requested a reward from the fortunate Doge, who thankful for her brave deed; granted her and her daughters a fixed rent in perpetuity. On the 15th June and all public holidays; she was allowed to hang the banner of St George, from her balcony.

Five centuries later in 1861, the sole occupant of the house, Elia Vivante Mussati, had the plaque carved and sited; depicting the old lady throwing the mortar and the date of the event.


The Paving Stone of the “Column of Infamy”

Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy. In Campo San Agostino (near to Campo San Polo) in the pavement at no 2304B; is a small paving stone, with the inscription “LOC.COL.BAL.THE MCCCX. This refers to the conspiracy led by Bajamonte Tiepolo, to overthrow the Venetian Republic, that resulted in the burning of the Rialto bridge and Tiepolo being later exiled to Istria.

His house was raised to the ground and a column erected, recording his infamy. The column found its way to Lake Como, as a garden decoration; but later returned to Venice by the villa’s last owner, Duchess Josephine Melzi d’Eril Barbo.

It is now part of the reserve collection of the Doge’s Palace. After this incident the “Council of Ten” was set up.


The Emblems on the Flag Pole in Campo St Lucia in San Marco district.

Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy. A short walk north of Piazza San Marco, these emblems on the flagpole, are of two confraternities, that played a part in defeating the Tiepolo conspiracy: the “Scuole della Carita” (school of charity) and the “Scuole dei Pittori” (guild of painters).


The Lion of St Mark, carved in stone on each of the conspirator’s houses.

Evidence of the 1310 Conspiracy. The state marked the conspirators homes with the emblem, which some attempted to disfigure or remove at a later date.

  • Ca’ Zane in the Campo Santa Maria Mater Domini, at Nos 2120/2121. The lion has been partly scraped-off.
  • Ca’ Longo, opposite I Servi.
  • Ca’ Querini, at the bridge of S Giacomo dell’ Orio.
  • Ca’ Loredan, in S Canciano.
  • Ca’ Molin, at La Bragola.
  • Ca’ Corner, at S Beneto, at the entrance to Rio Menuo.
  • Ca’ Garzoni, in Campo S Bartolomeo.
  • Ca’ Dona, at San Polo, on the campo and the Ponte dei Cavalli.


St Mark’s Basilica – The saint and his emblem below


The Lion of St Mark Venice

Bronze Plaque of the Lion of St Mark



Links (internal-external)

Read all about St Mark and his predecessor St Theodore

For those interested in the mysterious, mythical or dark side of Venetian history and culture; I have put together a list of links to those posts that include elements of Christian Symbolism, Sacred Geometry, Kabbalah, Freemasonry and Alchemy,

Sacred Geometry

St Mark’s Basilica

Santa Maria della Salute

Symbolism of the Venetian Cross

Palazzo Lezze and Alchemic Symbolism

Kabbalah and San Francesco della Vigna 

La Maddalena and Masonic Symbolism

Eye of the Triangle

Doge’s Palace – Column Capitals

Mouths of the Lion

Pateras – Small Circular Reliefs

Baiamonte Tiepolo Conspiracy in Venice Events (venetoinside.com)




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