Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 13, 2013

I would like a family crest

All over Italy I see wonderful family crests adorning buildings…and I want one. There is one building in particular that makes me feel the lack of a crest. It is the incredible Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio in Bologna, built to house the first unified seat of the University of Bologna in 1562/1563.


Among other things, the building houses the amazing Anatomy Room. The anatomical theatre was constructed in 1637 from spruce wood and was used to teach anatomy. The room was almost completely destroyed in 1944 during WWII, but was reconstructed using original materials retrieved from the rubble.


The interior walls and ceilings of the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio are covered with gorgeous family crests.

I wouldn’t want my crest to be too complicated. I quite like this one.


I could have green stripes instead of red and the bird should be a budgerigar or a sulphur crested cockatoo because I am Australian.

I think it would look great on the side wall at Casa Debbio.


  1. Your photos are lovely.

    • Thank you, it is a beautiful palazzo.

  2. Heraldry is a fascinating world; however, it will be impossible to have an Italian family crest unless your family is of Italian ancestry and had a registered coat of arms prior to 1948 (fall of the Monarchy). Perhaps, you could look at whether the Debbio family had one. When you go to Florence, you can check with these people

    • I know I couldn’t have a real one. Debbio is the name of the Localita rather than a family.

      • Both Debbio and Del Debbio are Italian surnames. In many cases, localities are named after their owners. Just a thought…

  3. I’d love one too although I wonder what would adorn it! 🙂

    • It would have to include food, and perhaps your book.

  4. What a fun post, Debra! Another great idea and fascinating photos. I’m like you, I’d want green in my crest.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • You could design one for yourself.

  5. I also love crests but doubt my ex-husband’s family had one. The rumour was that they were servants for the Gonzaga in Mantova and I’m not even sure that is true. I would let my imagination run riot and start sketching kookaburras and barramundi!

    • Kookaburras and barramundi sound like a great place to start.

  6. I want one too!

    • I love them and would love to have one of my own.

  7. It’s funny, but my Italian family doesn’t have a family crest (none that I know of, at least) but my husband’s family (who are of British descent) have one! So I got one by default!! It has a lion on it and is fairly simple, but elegant. We have the crest painted onto one dish of our china set, as a display piece. I also have it on a tile plaque by the front door with our last name on it! It’s kind of fun having one – you can adorn things with it! Beautiful pics as always 🙂

  8. Me too! This is quite a collection 🙂

    • There are some very beautiful crests in the building. It would be easy to spend hours looking at them.

  9. just take one.. there seem to be plenty! fantastic shots! c

    • There is certainly no shrotage.

  10. I could design and paint you one Debra!? X

    • That sounds like a good idea.

  11. I hereby adopt you and bequeath you, if you wish, with my family crest. WordPress will not let me paste in a tiny .gif picture, so look to your iPad. 🙂

    • I am happy to be adopted.

  12. This building is so beautiful that sometimes looks surreal. Stunning at the last level! Great pics! 🙂

    • It is a beautiful building. I go there every time I visit Bologna.

      • Nice! I’ve been to Bologna only once. It’s a lovely city!

  13. Very nice fotos. Mo’s idea is a good one as there is nothing to stop you having one designed for you. I do have an English family crest, inherited through the Worth Family of Devon in England and a copy is in the tudor building called ‘Mols Coffee House’ in Cathedral Square in Exeter. It is a double headed eagle and we had an art decco version designed for our business logo. As an Australian, you might well have an English or Irish Crest hidden away somewhere. Check out your family tree!

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