Bertuccio Valiero was the son of Silvestro Valiero and Bianca Priuli. We are not certain how he was educated, but he had a reputation as being cultivated and refine. He married Benedetta Pisani, and the couple had many children together. All of Valiero's children predeceased him except for his son Silvestro Valiero, who would himself serve as Doge of Venice from 1694 to 1700. He suffered health problems throughout his life.
Valiero was very wealthy, which allowed him to obtain prestigious posts in Venetian politics and diplomacy. He served as podestà of various towns in Venice's Terraferma, and as Venetian Ambassador to the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope Alexander VII.
Reign as Doge, 1656–1658
Valiero became Doge in the midst of a prolonged war with the Ottoman Empire for possession of Crete, which had been ongoing since 1645. Upon the death of Doge Carlo Contarini on May 1, 1656, Valiero became a candidate as Doge. On May 17, 1656, however, he lost the election to Francesco Cornaro, who promptly died nineteen days later. A second election was held on June 15, and Valiero was unanimously elected as Doge on the first ballot. He was already in ill health and would be dead less than two years later, meaning Venice, in the midst of its war, would have seen five Doges in the space of four years.
During Valiero's reign, the Most Serene Republic proposed terms for ending the Cretan War, but these were rejected by the Ottoman Empire. Valiero ordered a Venetian fleet to sail through the Dardanelles to attack Istanbul, in the hopes that this would at least relieve the pressure on the Siege of Candia; this expedition had only limited success.
Desperate for money with which to fund the war, in 1655, Valiero allowed the Jesuits, who had been expelled from the Venetian Republic by Leonardo Donato in 1606, to return in exchange for a cash payment. Venice was desperate for funds, and, despite the fact that Valiero contributed 10,000 ducats of his own money, Venice was nearly insolvent.
Valiero succumbed to sickness on March 29, 1658, aged only 61. He was interred in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, a traditional burial place of the doges. His son, Silvestro Valiero, was his sole legatee. Silvestro Valiero would later have a massive monumental tomb built in the Basilica, and Bertuccio Valiero's remains were also placed there. Thus, father and son, and their wives, are buried together.
|Doge of Venice