Gallery One

Katarina Vilioni was an Italian woman, member of a trader family in YangzhouChina, during the 14th century. She is known through a tombstone which was discovered among the ramparts of Yangzhou in 1951 by the People’s Liberation Army. The tombstone is inscribed in Lombardic Capitals, and explains that she died in 1342, and was the daughter of Domenico Vilioni. The tombstone also contains depictions of the martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

The existence of this tombstone in Yangzhou, a few decades after the visit of Marco Polo who had some administrative role in the city, suggests that there was a thriving Italian community in the city, probably involved in silk trade.[1]