A patrician family originally from Rome that did not have the good fortune to elect any doge, but can count primary ecclesiastical personalities among its descendants.

The members of the family stood out for their commendable humanistic education, little inclined to political affairs but interested in commerce, exploration, science and theater.

The dynasty, whose members said they had illustrious Roman descendants with the surname Balbo, expanded into Liguria, Piedmont, Milan, Ravenna, Chiari, Aquileia and Venice.

In Venice there were two existing stocks: one, coming from Aquileia in the 8th century, whose coat of arms depicts a rampant weasel (called sweet in Veneto) and the other, coming from Ravenna in 897, whose emblem shows a red field crossed from a band (called Trezza in Veneto), half blue and half golden.

After the coup d'etat that went down in history as the Serrata del Maggior Consiglio, in 1297 the families authorized to be part of the Maggior Consiglio were selected and Balbi was one of the lucky ones.

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