Our coffers are full and the lenders are pleased with the results of trade, but there is some
troubling news from our merchants in Constantinople.1 Our century’s long rivalry with Venice
over Galata has come to an end, seemingly for a final time.2 There are few of us left in this port
and the legacy we have developed since the Byzantine influence has been destroyed completely.
One by one, we see our buildings being taken over and even our greatest achievement in Galata,
the tower overlooking every point of the great city, has left our hands and there is no hope for a
Genoese recovery at the Golden Horn.3 We Grimaldi have been one of the greatest families to
step foot onto the shores of Constantinople, yet there are but a few Genovese left in the city. The
Latin-Rite community that we claim is being persecuted and our people have been driven out by
the Turks and have left us no choice but to draw out of Galata and take our trade to another city
that is more welcoming of our presence.
The Magnifica Comunità meets still, but our people struggle with daily existence and we
see no reason to stay in this empire.4 Even the Magnifica sees no reason to keep our council well in the city and they have replaced our podesta with their own council of twelve.5 We will let the Muslims have their control and we will not interfere any longer. With Constantinople overrun by heathens, we cannot, as good Catholics, see cause to remain.6 While we regret not being able to move freely between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the spiritual health of our people is more important.
5 Eric Dursteler, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Johns Hopkins University Press: Johns Hopkins, 2006): 142.