Bertolome Zorzi

Bertolome Zorzi (c. 1240 – c. 1290) was a Venetian merchant who composed poetry in Occitan. On a mercantile trip to Constantinople in 1266, conflict erupted between Venice and Genoa, and Bertolome’s ship was captured by the Genoese. He was subsequently imprisoned in Genoa for several years, but continued to compose poetry, including a famous sirventés in response to Bonifacio Calvo‘s poetic attack on both Genoese and Venetian sides of the conflict. As a result of this exchange, Bertolome and Bonifacio likely formed a lasting friendship, evinced by the poets’ numerous dedications to each other.

Known Work

See List of Bertolome Zorzi’s Works. Eighteen of his poems survive.


Emil Levy, Der Troubadour Bertolome Zorzi  (Halle, 1883).

Secondary Literature

Miriam Cabré, “Italian and Catalan troubadours,” in The Troubadours: An Introduction (Cambridge: CUP, 1999), 127-140.
Hans-Erich Keller, “Italian Troubadours,” in A Handbook of the Troubadours, eds. F.R.P. Akehurst and Judith M. Davis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 295-304.

Summary by Michael Diaz de la Portilla.