Hotel San Fantin

The Hotel San Fantin, Campiello Marinoni, Venice, a memorial to Daniele Manin, the work of Carlo Ruffini.
Hotel San Fantin
In the Campiello Marinoni, a stone's throw from the Opera House, stands one of the most curious buildings in Venice. Its walls are decorated with cannonballs and two cannons flank the entrance. It was the creation of the engineer Carlo Ruffini, who built it, in 1869, as a memorial to the dramatic events that had taken place in the city two decades earlier.

On March 22nd, 1848, the so-called year of revolutions, Venice threw off the yoke of Austrian rule and declared itself, once again, an independent republic. The leader of the revolt was Daniele Manin, a Venetian lawyer and patriot. The Austrians, needless to say, did not take kindly to the insurrection and retaliated with much force. The rebels held out for seventeen long months until August 24th, 1849, when they had no choice but to surrender. 

Manin went into exile and spent his final years teaching Italian in Paris (two of his pupils were the daughters of Charles Dickens). He died there in 1857, at the age of fifty-three. However, in 1868, two years after the Austrians had finally relinquished control of Venice, his ashes were brought back to his native city. 

Ruffini's memorial now forms part of the Hotel San Fantin.


  1. Was Daniele related to Ludovico Manin, the last Doge? Andrew H

  2. No. Manin's paternal grandparents were Jews who converted to Catholicism. Their sponsor was a brother of Ludovico Manin and they took his name as a mark of thanks.


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