Monthly Archives: April 2012

Coincidence or Serendipity?

I just finished reading In with the Out Crowd by Norma Howe. In it, among other things like inviting a stranger to Christmas dessert, the protagonist Robin gets to go with her grandparents to Venice. It had been Grandpa Muncie’s … Continue reading

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Article has been sent!!

I’ve been working on an article about gondolas during the 18th century and how that connects to Casanova. He mentions gondolas a number of times in his memoirs, and of course would have used them daily in Venice. Back in … Continue reading

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Did Casanova have a child with his half-sister?? It’s possible. I recently finished the book Empress of Pleasure by Judith Summers. (She also wrote the excellent resource and good read Casanova’s Women.) Empress is about Teresa Imer Cornelys–quite a talented … Continue reading

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Gondola Greg

Greg rocks–literally! (He actually belongs to a heavy metal church. I’m not kidding.) 

But besides that, he’s the president of the Gondola Society of America. Bet you didn’t know that even existed. He runs a gondola company in Newport Beach, CA, with operations in Nevada and Texas as well. I think he loves gondolas more than a lot of Venetian gondoliers I know…. He’s also my go-to guy to check facts because, besides rowing, he’s worked on his own gondola, rowed with a rowing club and in the Vogalonga in Venice, and knows many of the cantieri (boatmakers). I was on the phone with him this weekend (he called from his car where he had snuck out while one of the metal bands was playing), and he gave me great feedback for an article I’m writing about 18th century gondolas. (BTW Greg, Stefano says there are five squeri still in operation.)

Check out Greg’s blog for fun stories about things that happen in his gondola. Be sure to read the recent post on the message in the bottle (great writing, Greg!). 


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C’s house #4 Continue reading

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C’s house #3
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C’s house #1 Continue reading

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The Idea

My friend Barbara (so nice to have dinner with you!) asked how I got the idea for the walking guide to Casanova’s Venice. Here’s the story: During the summer that I spent in Venice to work on Free Gondola Ride, … Continue reading

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Marco and Branko in Paris

Marco and Branko in Paris

RJ and I went to Paris to see the exhibit of Casanova’s memoirs at the Bibliotheque nationale de France. That morning, we had breakfast with Marco Leeflang and his wife Janna. Marco is an eminent Casanovist and a contributor to “l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes.” I fell in love with Marco as soon as I saw his glee over Henriette, one of C’s lovers, in the docudrama “Casanova’s Love Letters.” Later Tom Vitelli put Marco and me in email contact, and since then books have been flying across the Atlantic (mostly Marco sending me books from Utrecht, the latest being “Empress of Pleasure” about Casanova’s lover Teresa Cornelys).
Breakfast was lovely, with chocolate croissants and cheese. Marco brought along Branko Aleksic, a Serbian philosopher, poet, and Casanovist transplanted to Paris, where he works in a museum by day and writes by night. We had dinner at Polidor with him and his girlfriend while in Paris, and he is sending me a spare copy of the Molmenti. Casanovists are good people. I feel lucky to be working with them.

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