Americans think of a casino as a place to go gambling. During Casanova’s 18th century, a casino was a small casa, the sort of pleasure apartment that they brought their friends or lover to. Wealthy nobles often had casini where they could enjoy a more intimate evening away from the drafty palazzo and formal manners.
Casanova was no nobleman, but he did rent a casino for a very special guest–M.M., a nun who he had an affair with. He wanted to impress her, so he rented the casino of Lord Holderness, the English resident. His description of the rooms is quite delicious!
This summer, I visited the building that used to house C’s casino. It’s now the Hotel Lisbon, off the Campo Barozzi near Campo San Moise and the Gritti Palace Hotel. The manager was kind enough to film this episode of Quattro Minuti con Casanova. I especially like that the gondoliers keep gliding by outside the window.
Click on this link: Casanova’s casino
If you want the full description of the casino, please read it all in my book, Seductive Venice, page 121. Or of course you can read Casanova’s memoirs, History of my Life, which is where I got it!
In this video, I tell about C’s first meeting with his lover M.M., who he met across town at Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo. I posted this video a while ago, but in case you want to see the two of them together to get the full story, here it is: Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo