#HISTORICALFIGURES Marina Donà, strong female figure of the Grimani dall'Albero d'Oro family

8 March 2022

Marina Donà di Pietro (1796-1844) married Giovanni Pietro Grimani (1754-1820) in 1796 thus becoming a member of the Grimani dall'Albero d'Oro family.

During the fall of the Venetian Republic, the financial conditions of the Grimani dall'Albero d'Oro were at their lowest point. Marina Donà, in order to protect her dowry from creditors, had to immediately start a legal case for the separation of assets from her husband, a case that reached a verdict on 28 November 1812, establishing the restitution to the noblewoman of no less than 51,000 ducats. Giovanni Pietro passed away in 1820, and a year later so did his brother Giorgio without direct descent, leaving a capital so overburdened with debts that Marina decided to renounce her uncle's inheritance on behalf of her son.

She endeavoured to arrange a marriage for her son Marcantonio Grimani (1804-1875) that would restore the family's prestige. In 1826 she found a match in Paolina Manin (1808-1880), niece of the last doge Ludovico Manin. In anticipation of the marriage, Marina had a precious diadem made of gold spikes and flowers studded with brilliants and she renovated the first piano nobile for herself. For the wedding of Marcantonio and Paolina, Marina committed a considerable amount of money to set up a sumptuous reception and restore the palace in neoclassical style.

Marina Donà Grimani Giustinian, "incomparable lady, decorum of the patrician order", after having succeeded in the task of restoring the family's fortunes, "left the world in peace" on the evening of 13 November 1844.