Marina Gamba (deceased)

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Managed by: Natalie Tan
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About Marina Gamba

She was the mother of three of Galileo Galilei's illegitimate children. During one of his frequent trips to Venice, Galileo met a young woman named Marina di Andrea Gamba, with whom he entered into a relationship. Marina Gamba moved into Galileo's house in Padua and bore him three children, Virginia (born August 16, 1600), later Sister Maria Celeste; Livia (born 1601), later Sister Arcangela; and Vincenzo (born 1606). In none of the three baptismal records is Galileo named as the father. In the case of Virginia, she was described as "daughter by fornication of Marina of Venice," with no mention of the father; on Livia's baptismal record the name of the father was left blank; and on Vincenzo's baptismal record "father uncertain" ("Galileo's Daughter" 24, Dava Sobel, 1999)

When Galileo left Padua for good to take up his position at the Medici court in Florence, in 1610, he took the two daughters with him but left Marina Gamba behind with Vincenzo, who was then only four years old. Vincenzo joined Galileo in Florence a few years later. In 1613, Marina Gamba married Giovanni Bartoluzzi. It appears that Galileo kept cordial relations with Gamba and Bartoluzzi. Galileo put his two daughters in a convent where they were to become nuns and therefore would not get married. He managed to have Vincenzo legitimated by the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marina_Gamba