3 - Calle de la Comedia


Calle Malipiero 3082 - Casanova Family House

After visiting Casanova's grandmother's house on  Calle de le Muneghe (and Corte De La Muneghe), take a right on to Ramo de le Muneghe and then left back on to Calle Del Orbi. At the end, turn right on to what is now called Calle Malipiero.

In 1728, on returning from two years acting in London, it is believed Gaetano and Zanetta Casanova bought the house at number 3082 (on the right as you look down the street), reuniting a three year old Giacomo with the family, which now included his one year old brother Francesco (who was born in London and whose real father is rumoured to have been King George II).  He would be joined by a further brother and two sisters whilst living here.

It is believed that Casanova lived here from 1728, as a three year old child until the age of eight, when his 36 year old father dies in the property, from a tumour caused by being given the wrong medicine for an ear infection. A popular actor with Venetian nobility, Gaetano was visited by many of the powerful families whilst on his deathbed and passed responsibility of his young family to the influential theatre owner, Michele Grimani, whom it is suspected was Giacomo's real father. 

Two days before his passing, he summoned us all around his bed, along with his wife and the Signori Grimani, Venetian nobles, whom he engaged to be our protectors.
— Casanova, The Story Of My Life (Volume I)

His mother, Zanetta Farussi, an actress at the Teatro San Samuele on the end of the street, rented the home out whilst she travelled across Europe with the theatre, leaving the young Casanova in the care of his grandmother at her home just around the corner on Calle De La Muneghe.

Casanova would return to his family home on Calle de la Comedia in 1739,  aged 14, following his studies in Padua, living here with his brother Francesco until the age of 18 (in 1743). 

I was placed in excellent lodgings with my brother Francesco, who had been enrolled to study theatrical architecture. My sister and younger brother lived with my grandmother in a house that belonged to her and in which she wanted to die, since her husband had died there. The house I lived in, large and very well-furnished, was the same in which I had lost my father, the rent for which my mother continued to pay.
— Casanova, The Story Of My Life (Volume I)

The house had a beautiful entrance and a large ballroom, in which a 17 year old Casanova would host a party in 1742 for the 19 year old Giulietta Preati, a beautiful famous opera singer and mistress to Marco Muazzo, a rich Venetian nobleman. It was at this party that the two would swap make-up and clothes in Casanova's third floor bedroom, for one round of dances.  She would hit him over the ear in disgust at his sexual advances as they got changed.  His womanising ways obviously not being perfected by this point.

Following his grandmother's death, and with his own mother living an actor's life in Poland, Casanova was evicted from his childhood home when the Grimanis sold his family estate. Casanova managed to sell all the furniture and fittings, pocketing the profits for himself and selfishly disregarding his younger siblings, before being sent to the priesthood on the island of Murano in March 1743. 

For many years, until recent historians proved otherwise, it was widely assumed Casanova was born here. Further up the street, a plaque on the wall (on the left) still incorrectly states "In a house on this street, old Calle de la Comedia, born 2 April 1725, Giacomo Casanova."