The Contarini were a noble family ascribed to the Venetian patriciate, included among the very ancient apostolic families. The legend traces its origins back to the Aurelii Cotta of Rome, which were prefects in the Reno region, were called Cotta Rheni or Conti del Reno, from which the surname Contarini.
Indeed the first known member of the family is Andrea Contarini who in 853 signed the testament of the bishop of Castello Orso. It represented one of the most flourishing Venetian families: in the year 1500 on 1523 patrician family groups registered in the city, 107 brought the surname Contarini. It should however be pointed out that, especially in cases such as these, the various branches did not feel part of a single lineage solely on the basis of the common surname.
He gave the Serenissima as many as eight doges and several other prominent personalities as ecclesiastics, politicians and soldiers. Many references are still present in the toponymy.