Itinerary in Casanova’s Venice
After lunch we move towards St Marco’s Square, an elegant square which was a theatre of the seducer’s many erotic adventures with its cafés and hidden corners. Behind the square, in calle Vallaresso, you can find what used to be the famous Ridotto, now part of Hotel Monaco & Gran Canal, the ideal location for locals and foreigners who want to get married in Venice or for ceremonies and events, but which once was a gambling house where Casanova mysteriously disguised himself and spent many hours gambling with Venetian noblemen, waiting for one of his romantic meetings. At the bottom of the lane is Harry’s bar, owned by the Cipriani family, a favourite spot for many artists, writers and poets amongst which the famous writer and seducer Lord Byron and would surely have been the same for Casanova too, if he had lived few more years! The most romantic are recommended to stop and enjoy this bar’s atmosphere sipping an excellent Bellini professionally prepared by Arrigo…Before leaving the square, visit Piombi, the terrible prisons of Doges’ Palace that can be reached crossing the Bridge of Sights, where Casanova was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment, but from which he managed to escape through a hole in the ceiling after 15 months.
Palazzo Merati, building now owned by Count Emile Targhetta D’Audifret, where Giacomo Casanova (born in 1707)’s mother and sisters lived. The love cove with a canopy bed and stucco where the famous seducer consumed his nocturnal adventures with Venetian ladies can still be visited in this rich apartment, the only one still left in the area where Casanova lived when he returned to Venice after receiving grace.
Towards Rialto, you will find sotoportego dei Do Mori and could take a break in the homonym tavern where cicheti and typical Venetian dishes are prepared since the 16th century and where you can taste the really good Italian dessert wine, exactly as Casanova did when he used to stop here and wait for his lovers or chat with regular customers. Otherwise, heading towards the fish market, in Campo delle Beccarie, you could stop in an old trattoria/restaurant Poste Vecie which has been around since the 16th century and where Casanova also used to to feast.
From Fondamenta Nove continue towards Campo San Maurizio (ACTV water bus stop Santa Maria del Giglio): the Venetian erotic poet Giorgio Baffo lived here and had a deep influence on young Casanova, introducing him into the art of seduction in this square with its recognisable leaning bell tower, in the palazzo on the right (currently Azione Cattolica’s headquarters); he was Casanova’s mother great admirer, actress Giovanna Farussi, known as La Buranella.
From the pier of St Mark’s Square (San Zaccaria) take a water bus for Murano, last stage of our itinerary to visit Casanova’s places. One of the most legendary adventures of the seducer was consumed here; his love story with M.M., a mysterious enclosed nun from the convent of Santa Maria deli Angela in Murano.