Calle Vallaresso (Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal), Venice

Calle Vallaresso (Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal), Venice

Calle Vallaresso is a street next to Saint Mark's Square where, for centuries, a large number of gambling houses had sprung up. Casanova frequented the street since, for a profligate and a spendthrift such as himself, gambling was an easy way to revive his fortunes and came along with many opportunities to socialize, flirt, and establish new connections.

Among all the gambling venues, Casanova's favorite spot for a thrilling card game – as well the ideal backdrop for his conquests – is now the lavishly decorated "Grand Ballroom" of the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal. Previously known as "Il Ridotto," this establishment was a prominent gambling house until 1774, when it was permanently closed by the reformer Giorgio Pisani. Adorned with gilded leathers, this lavish setting welcomed nobles, or indeed anyone wearing a mask (baùta), at the gaming tables.

When games were played strictly according to the rules, however, the house (or bank) had practically no advantage, so in time Il Ridotto and other gambling establishments devised subtle ways to dupe the punters. This was precisely what happened to Casanova, who had experienced his fair share of losses, succumbing to Il Ridotto's clever tactics. Interestingly, at one point, he himself managed a small casino in collaboration with a wealthy patron.

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Calle Vallaresso (Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal) on Map

Sight Name: Calle Vallaresso (Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal)
Sight Location: Venice, Italy (See walking tours in Venice)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Venice, Italy

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