Welcome to my new blog! Following the advice of my friend Danny, I’m sharing my experiences with a few of my favorite things: Venice, Casanova, gondolas, and Venice. For almost two years, I’ve been researching and writing a book about Casanova sites in Venice, his home town.
The book is tentatively titled Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps. This title is a little like an out of print book called Sui Passi di Casanova, which in Italian means “In the Footsteps of Casanova.” But I’m seduced constantly by Venice, so that title came to me, besides the fact that Casanova is known as the great seducer!
Today’s Casanova news: I finally got to look through my enormous copy of the catalogue for the Casanova exhibit in Paris, which closed February 19, 2012. RJ (my partner) and I attended it on the final day, after having breakfast with Marco Leeflang from Utrecht and Branko Alecsic, Parisian from Serbia, both Casanovists. More about them in another post.
But the excitement for me this morning was opening the catalogue. At the exhibit was a huge map of Venice from 1729 that shows Venice during Casanova’s lifetime. On the map I found the Ponte di Barba Frutariol, which no longer exists. At this site Casanova met with Count Bonefede, who was destitute and had a lovely, emaciated daughter that C fell for.Last summer I was in Venice writing the walking directions for the tour for my book and strolled all up and down this street trying to find the right place that Casanova had visited. It was impossible, because it’s now a street, whereas in Casanova’s day it was a canal. The canal was filled in and the bridge demolished, so I didn’t know where to look. But this map solves the problem for me!
I was probably the only person in the whole exhibit who got so excited about this map, and it’s the main reason I bought the $50 book. So finally sitting down with it today was really cool. I also looked at C’s actually pages of writing, reproduced in the catalogue, to see if he referred to Venetian boats as gondolas or as something else. (There were some specific names for different kinds of gondolas, as I learned in some recent research.) C wrote his memoirs in French, yet he still used the word “gondola.” Doesn’t seem like much to be excited about, but hey, it worked for me!