1° stage: (1 h) Starting point of this itinerary is Palazzo Merati, in Fondamenta Nove, a palace where there used to live Giacomo Casanova's mother and sisters. Casanova was born in 1707.
2° stage: (2 h) From Fondamenta Nove continue towards Campo San Maurizio (ACTV waterbus stop Santa Maria del Giglio): right in this square with its recognisable leaning bell tower, in the palace on the right (today offices of Catholic Action) there used to live the Venetian erotic poet Giorgio Baffo who had a deep influence on young Casanova, starting from the art of seduction but who was also a great lover of Casanova's mother, actress Giovanna Farussi, known as La Buranella.
3° stage: If it's almost lunch time we advise that you go towards Rialto, a market area of great bustles of Venetians and tourists, today as it was yesterday, where, just as you climb down the bridge, after the Court, you'll find Sotoportego dei Do Mori and could take a break in homonymous tavern where they have been preparing cicheti and typical Venetian dishes since 16th century and which you can taste while sipping on an excellent malmsey, exactly like Casanova did when he used to stop here and wait for his lovers or chat with regular customers.
4° stage: (3 h) After lunch we move towards St Marks' Square, an elegant square which was, with its cafés and its hidden corners, a theatre of the seducer's many erotic adventures. Behind the square, in calle Vallaresso, you can find what used to be the famous Ridotto, a theatre nowadays, but which once was a gambling house where Casanova, hiding himself behind a mysterious disguise, used to spend many hours gambling in company of Venetian noblemen, waiting for one of his gallant meetings. At the bottom of the lane there is Harry’s bar, a local belonging to the Cipriani family, a favourite spot for many artists, writers and poets amongst which there was a famous writer and seducer Lord Byron, and which would have surely been also for our Casanova if he had lived few more years!
Before leaving the square, we suggest a visit to Piombi, terrible prisons of Doges' Palace that can be reached crossing the Bridge of Sights, where Casanova had been sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment, but from which he managed to escape through a hole in the ceiling after 15 months .
A few meters from St Mark's Square a new Museum of Erotic Art was inaugurated during the Carnival 2006 but it closed a few months later.
5° stage: (2 h) From the pier of St Mark's Square (San Zaccaria) take a waterbus for Murano, a last stage of our itinerary of Casanova's places.
Prisons of Doges' Palace
Address: Entrance door (Porta del Frumento), S. Marco 1 - Piazzetta S. Marco, Venice Tel: 041-5224951/ 041-2715911
Opening hours: April - October: Monday - Sunday 9.00-19.00 (last entrance an hour before). November - March: Monday - Sunday 9.00-17.00. Closed 1st January, 25th December
Entrance fee: From 1st April with San Marco Museum Plus, the Museum of st Mark's square + 1 other of the museums run by Musei Civici Veneziani: full price 12,00 + 1,00 = 13,00 euro /reduced: 6,50 + 1,00 = 7,50 euro
Museum Pass, a cumulative ticket for alla the Civic Museums currently open and for those connected. This Ticket is valid for 6 months and grant only one admission to each Museum: full price: 18,00 euro/reduced: 12,00 euro.
Facilities: assisted access, archive, photographic archive, didactic activity, audio guide, didactic hall, library, coffee shop, book shop, museum publications, shop, guided tour
Actv lines: 1/2 waterbus stop San Zaccaria or San Marco
It is possible to accomplish a visit of secret itineraries of Doges' Palace, a walk through less sumptuous rooms of the palace where Civil Services carried out their daily work and the Court interrogated and tortured the suspects.
Visits by booking only with authorised guide. For information and booking: VeneziaSi-Ava Venice Travel.
Tel: +39 041 52 22 264
by Roberta Nalesso | VeneziaSì editor