Casanova Tour (Self Guided), Venice

Giacomo Casanova is one of the most famous personalities of Venice. He was a man of great culture. His interests ranged from love affairs and gambling to writing and alchemy. Born in a family of theater actors in 1725, he grew up surrounded by high society. He became an important personality in his own right, starting with his adolescence. This self guided tour will show you places of great significance in the life of Casanova.
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Casanova Tour Map

Guide Name: Casanova Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Venice (See other walking tours in Venice)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 km
Author: naomi
1
Calle Malipiero

1) Calle Malipiero

The obvious spot to start is Casanova’s birthplace in Calle Malipiero, just off Campo San Samuele but its not that easy to find. The search takes you off the tourist trail and into the backstreets. And contrary to the image of Casanova the dandy nobleman, he was actually born in a small house in an anonymous alley. Frankly it’s not what you’d expect. But that’s the point. This is real Venice, real homes, not just the usual San Marco glamour and Grand Canal palaces. It’s quietly fascinating.
Young Casanova lived there for nine years before being packed off to school and university in Padua. And he got quite an education, returning to Venice aged 17 with a law degree, having discovered the fairer sex and with mounting gambling debts!
2
Corte delle Muneghe

2) Corte delle Muneghe

Casanova’s grandmother, Marzia, lived in Corte delle Muneghe (from monache, or nuns). It was here that Casanova lived from the age of eight. His father had died and his mother, an actress, travelled very much.
3
Chiesa San Samuele

3) Chiesa San Samuele

San Samuele is a church in Venice, northern Italy. It is located in the eponymous campo near Palazzo Grassi and Palazzo Malipiero. The facade is set back on the campo, but faces and is visible from the Grand Canal. It is named after the Biblical Samuel, because in the interior are housed relics traditionally attributed to him. San Samuele bears the distinction of being one of only a handful of Venetian churches dedicated to an Old Testament prophet rather than a Roman Catholic saint. It is also unique in that its late-Gothic apse has remained intact despite the restructuring of its nave and facade in 1685. The walls and vaults of this apse have been restored starting in 1999, and are one of the few surviving fresco cycles of the early Venetian Renaissance. The cycle depicts eight Sibyls, Greek and Roman female seers who were believed to have predicted events in the life of Christ such as the Annunciation, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Chiesa San Samuele was built around 1000 by the Boldù and Soranzo families. This is the church where Giacomo Casanova was baptized. As a child Casanova attended the church services held here. Outside you can admire the structure of the porch, on top of which, in 1952, was built a loggia.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Palazzo Malipiero

4) Palazzo Malipiero

Giacomo Casanova was born, in 1725, in a building adjacent to Palazzo Malipiero. From 1740 onwards, he lived in the Palazzo and became a confidant of Senator Alvise II Gasparo Malipiero. Here he started his first love affairs and had the opportunity to establish relations with Italy's most important people. After being caught, in flagrante delicto, with a mistress of Alvise II, he was expelled from Venice.
5
Corte Del Duca Sforza. Home to Teresa Imer

5) Corte Del Duca Sforza. Home to Teresa Imer

It was here, next to the tree in house numbers 3063 -3065, that the Imer family lived, acting friends of the Casanova family. (With his wife and daughter back home in Venice, Giuseppi Imer would later have an affair with Casanova’s mother whilst performing in Verona).
His relationship with Teresa would continue long after Malipiero’s death. Historians even speculate the two could be related, given their similar looks and the long affair of Casanova's mother with Teresa's father.
Nine months later, Teresa would give birth to a child, called Sophia, leading to the breakup of her marriage. Casanova would meet the child five years later, in 1758, by accident, when he bumped into Teresa singing at a concert in Amsterdam.
6
Calle Vallaresso - Ridotto.

6) Calle Vallaresso - Ridotto.

Calle Vallaresso is a street next to the Piazza San Marco where for centuries were situated gambling houses. Giacomo Casanova frequented the street during his time. Casanova was famous for his passion for money. He loved to spend money, and gambling was an easy way to get some. Gambling for him was a way of socializing, flirting and making new connections. Also, here, you will find the Ridotto theater that used to be a major gambling house during Casanova's time.
7
Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace)

7) Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) (must see)

Built on the foundations of a 9th-century fortress, this palace is unquestionably the finest secular building of its era in Europe, having served as the residence of the doge, as well as the home of all of Venice’s governing councils and law courts. Additionally, it housed a sizeable number of the Venetian Republic's civil servants and even prisons.

The palace dates to the 14th century, though a 16th-century fire destroyed much of the original building, reducing many of its masterpieces to ash. Some of the greatest Venetian masters of the time contributed to the restored palace, replacing the works of the old masters with gilded stuccowork, sculptures, frescoes, and canvases – among these, Tintoretto, Veronese, Titian, Bellini, and Tiepolo.

The architecture is a combination of Byzantine and Gothic, whereas the courtyards and much of the interior are based on Classical forms – a blending of influences that led art critic John Ruskin to declare it “the central building of the world”.

The regular tour of the palace is interesting enough, showcasing lavish rooms of a splendid scale. The furnishings and paintings are spectacular and visitors gets to explore the various administrative salons and marvel at the ceilings. The most outstanding feature is found in the Grand Council chamber – namely, Tintoretto’s “Paradise”, said to be the world’s largest oil painting. The second grandiose hall, which you access from the grand chamber, is the Sala dello Scrutinio or “Voting Hall”, with paintings telling of Venice’s past glories. On the other hand, Titians paintings are found all over the palace, even lining staircases and in minor rooms.

Towards the end of your visit to the Palazzo Ducale, you cross the Bridge of Sighs by which prisoners were led to their cells on the other side of the canal. In complete contrast from the splendor of the palace, the cell-blocks confront visitors with the grim remnants of the horror of medieval justice. The “sighs” in the bridge’s name stem from the sad laments of the numerous victims forced across it to face certain torture and possible death at the hand of state inquisitors appointed by the city.

If you don't want to miss out on the importance of much of what you’re seeing, seek out the infrared audio guide at the entrance that gives the fascinating history of the 1,000-year-old maritime republic, and the intrigue of the government that ruled it.

***Casanova Tour***

Casanova was sentenced to five year in prison for his libertine behavior which is considered dangerous to society. He was taken to Doge's Palace on the night of 25 July 1755 and put in a cell under the roof of palace. The cell was covered with sheets of lead. But Casanova managed to escape by making a hole in the ceiling and descending his way to freedom with bed sheet ropes. Casanova was the only person ever to escape from the prison of Doge's Palace.

Tip:
Book in advance for the guided "Secret Itinerary" tour that takes you into otherwise restricted quarters and hidden passageways, such as the Doge’s private chambers and the torture chambers where prisoners were interrogated.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am–7pm, last admission 6pm (Apr-Oct); 8:30am–5:30pm, last admission 4:30pm (Nov-Mar)
8
Cafe Florian

8) Cafe Florian

Cafe Florian is the oldest cafe in Italy, providing its services from 1720. Due to its prestigious position it is almost a symbol of Venice. It was the meeting place of artists and poets, writers and politicians. Marble tables and cushion chairs get along also under the arcades and on the piazza where an orchestra plays from the late afternoon. The cafe offers a wide range of unique products, such as different kinds of coffees and teas, room fragrances, accessories.
9
Ponte delle Tette

9) Ponte delle Tette

Ponte delle Tette, Bridge of Female Breasts, is located in the heart of the former red-light district of San Cassiano. Prostitutes used to parade topless here in an attempt to attract clients and convert suspected homosexuals. The procedure was encouraged by Venetian officers in order to eliminate this new social problem. The red-light district in Venice was legalized at the beginning of the 16th century. Casanova was a frequent visitor of this district, hunting his next victim.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Cantina do Spade

10) Cantina do Spade

Cantina do Spade is a traditional bacarra that serves the beloved cicchetti, ranging from savory fried seafood to spicy picante pani. The venue, which is tucked away under an archway on the San Paolo side of the Rialto Bridge, was used by Casanova to wine and dine his romantic conquests.
11
Casanova - Muzeum and Experience

11) Casanova - Muzeum and Experience

Casanova Museum & Experience, dedicated to the life of this polymath, visitors can discover the lesser known aspects of his personality. This is not a traditional museum with relics, artifacts and memorabilia arranged in chronological order; the Casanova Museum & Experience focuses on the Casanova ‘Experience’ highlighting the innovative approach of this brand new and unusual place of cultural learning. The space has not been conceived as a traditional museum but as a multi-media and emotional experience, designed to allow visitors to relive the atmosphere of 18th-century Venice. The exhibition ends in the room which was possibly one of the most representative of Casanova’s life: the bedroom. Here, amidst silks and damasks, visitors can admire a real 18th-century alcove.

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