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Campo dei Mori

Three 'Moors' and a camel, too

Figure on a Roman altar in the Campo dei Mori

This elongated residential square earned its name for its statues of three ‘Moors’, popularly believed to be the Mastelli brothers, Rioba, Sandi and Afani, who lived in the 12th century in the Palazzo Mastelli, better known as Palazzo ‘Camello' for its relief. The brothers may have became known as ‘Moors’ because of their Peloponnesian homeland (then called the Morea), or from their trade with the East.

Bas-relief de l'homme au turban menant un chameau (Venise)

One of the brothers, in a turban and standing on a fragment of a Roman altar, stands by himself on the Fondamenta dei Mori, at No.3399, decorating the façade of Tintoretto’s house; the painter lived here from 1574 until his death in 1594.

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History and Anecdotes


Streets, Squares and Gardens

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Creative Commons