In Venice, A Museum Dedicated to Casanova, History’s Most Famous Libertine

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 03:00
Giacomo Casanova

Want to experience life as Casanova, history’s most famous libertine? Then head to the newly opened ‘Casanova Museum and Experience’ in Venice, birthplace of Giacomo Casanova.

Opened on April 2 (his birthday), 220 years after his death, it is an ‘experiential museum’, where visitors can experience Venice in the 1700s by wearing a pair of hi-tech glasses thanks to which one has the impression to walk among Venetian calli, ‘meet’ the Venetians as well as elegant ladies dressed in costumes from that period. Life-size photographs are projected all along the exhibition itinerary, which ends in a bedroom where the legendary alcove, with draped fabrics, has been reproduced.

Located in Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, facing the Misericordia canal in the Cannaregio district, the museum includes a series of rooms displaying period objects, coins, musical instruments such as a spinet and a guitar, autographed letters, clothes, and more to hint at the adventurous life of Casanova, his many travels and amorous, political and cultural encounters.

Casanova (1725-1798) was a womanizer, but he was also a writer, a poet, an intellectual, a philosopher, a traveler, a spy, an adventurer, a subversive spirit, a provocateur. He met some of the most important figures of his time, like Queen of France Marie Antoinette, empress of Russia Catherine the Great, Voltaire, Cagliostro, Mozart, Madame de Pompadour; he spent time in jail; he escaped from it; and he traveled extensively.

Indeed, traveling was such a part of Casanova’s life that the Casanova Foundation, which manages the Venice museum, plans to open a series of temporary museums dedicated to him in the various cities where he traveled, from St. Petersburg to Prague, from Dresden to Paris, from Vienna to London, from Warsaw to Rome to Naples, and more.

The museum is the idea of wine entrepreneur Carlo Parodi, who is based in London, and produces a Prosecco by the name of Casanova.

The Casanova Museum is on Calle de la Racheta, 3764 and is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. Ticket is €13. An audio guide is available in ten languages. Visit the museum's website for more information, including details of Casanova's life and the places he frequented in Venice.

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