Quattro Minuti con Casanova: The Ridotto

It’s been a while since I shared a Quattro Minuti video with you. I know, some of you have already binged watched all of them on YouTube. But I’m guessing some of you wait feverishly for me to dole out the next video, one drop at a time. Today is your lucky day, and this video is very close to my “quattro minuti” goal, as it clocks in at 3:53.

Most people know that Casanova was a gambler. In volume four of his memoirs he wrote, “What made me gamble was avarice. I loved to spend, and my heart bled when I could not do it with money won at cards.” In Venice, many small apartments or “little houses” known as a “casino” were used for cards and gambling. But the main gambling location was the ridotto at Marco Dandolo’s palace near the Teatro San Moise, a convenient location to win and lose one’s money during the opera’s intermission.

That palazzo is now the Hotel Monaco. If you ask nicely, and the rooms are not being used for a special event, you can actually walk through them. That’s what I did last summer when I filmed this episode.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd_fTcoJ1uI

Casanova mentions this ridotto a number of times in his memoirs. He gambled there with his mistress M.M. or whiled away the time while he couldn’t be with her. He also mentions seeing Count Bonafede, an impoverished nobleman whom he befriends. “Gambling is often a great palliative for a man in love,” advises Casanova.

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About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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5 Responses to Quattro Minuti con Casanova: The Ridotto

  1. peter maher says:

    Ridotto same word as English redout, “small, enclosed military work,” c. 1600, from French redoute (17c.), from Italian ridotto, earlier ridotta, “place of retreat,” from Medieval Latin reductus “place of refuge, retreat,” noun use of past participle of reducere “to lead or bring back” (see reduce). The -b- was added by influence of unrelated English redoubt (v.) “to dread, fear” (see redoubtable). As an adjective, Latin reductus meant “withdrawn, retired; remote, distant.”

    • Thanks for adding this. It’s always so fascinating to see how words evolve, and whenever I hear a word’s etymology, my mind goes off in other directions, to other meanings. Endlessly interesting!

  2. peter maher says:

    taken from Etymonline.

  3. Nice to think of the ghost of Casanova impatiently having to hold on to his gambling chips whilst – of all things – a wedding takes place.
    And Chamber of Sighs is a fantastic idea for those much needed moments of reflection after some ill judged moment of impulsiveness. They should begin to reintroduce them into modern buildings.

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