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, I hung out with gondoliers a lot and took a lot of gondola rides. (What happiness!) I started to notice that virtually every gondolier on every ride would point out Casanova’s house. “See this,” they would point, “this is the house of Casanova.” It didn’t matter if we were in Cannaregio, near San Marco or San Polo, or on the Grand Canal, we always seemed to pass C’s house.
Were they pointing at random places to satisfy tourists? Or did Casanova really live in all these houses? One gondolier told me, “He had many lovers, so he was in all these houses.”
So I began reading C’s memoirs, and then my interest grew into a passion. I discovered that no one had written a guide to Casanova’s Venice in English, and I thought it sounded like a blast. Six biographies later and countless other sources, plus major help from people like Helmut Watzlawick (he’s the man!), and now I’ve got over 80 Casanova sites.
Here are some YouTube videos of folks’ gondola rides in Venice. As far as I can tell (some vids are hard to see), none of these places are Casanova’s house.