I realized after posting my last entry, that I included an error. The funny thing is, my book Seductive Venice is accurate, but when I was walking Walk #6 in Venice, I didn’t re-read the entry and made a false assumption based on poor memory! Here’s the deal:
The location of Casanova’s birth house is, and probably always will be, under dispute. The Casanova family apparently lived on what is now Calle Malipiero (but went through several name changes, including Calle che conduce al Teatro, Calle del Teatro, and Calle de la Comedia), and also in the house of Casanova’s grandmother, Marzia Farussi, on Calle de le Muneghe, nearby. Most likely C was born in his grandmother’s house, though there’s a plaque stating that he was born in a house on Calle Malipiero.
The matter becomes more complicated when we discover that the houses on this street are not the original buildings from the 18th century. Research done by Federico Montecuccoli and Helmut Watzlawick (outlined in the Wikipedia entry by Adriano Contini and first published in l’Intermediaire des Casanovistes) points out that the housing records show different actual apartments in the buildings on Calle Malipiero than existed in the 18th century. In fact, Montecuccoli also contends that the house may have been on what is now Calle degli Orbi, which was part of Calle de la Comedia at that time. (The 18th century Calle de la Comedia covered what later became three different streets, too.) There also used to be a school for the blind, a convent, and a theater near here, so clearly the neighborhood has changed dramatically. While we can say that the current addresses pertain to the approximate apartments that now exist, these would not be the exact apartments that the Casanova family lived in; the building itself went through changes, and the interior was divided up differently.
You can read more of the details about this in Contini’s Wikipedia entry. (I’ll tell you more about him in a later post.) Seductive Venice’s purpose is to lead readers to locations and to tell the stories behind each location, bringing Casanova to life at the site where he was. These sites are accurate, based on the research that has been conducted. While I consulted many more sources than are mentioned in a specific walk in the book, I didn’t include that level of detail there because the book is not meant to be as academic as it is entertaining. Even here I am trying to distill 15-20 pages of research into a few paragraphs.
When I was in Venice and saw the apartments for the first time, and saw that the door was ajar and I could see the interior, I got so excited about being in Casanova’s house that I forgot to check for accuracy. Sorry for the confusion due to my over-enthusiasm!