7 - Corte Del Duca Sforza


Corte Del Duca Sforza - Home to Signora Manzoni


In one of the houses opposite the Imer family home on Corte Duca Sforza lived Caterina Manzoni, the 31 year old wife of a lawyer who befriended the 15 year old Casanova when he was training to be a priest.

It was at Senator Malipiero’s palace that the two met, probably around 1740, and her influence on the young boy would be so great they would remain close friends throughout their lives. 

I soon became very attached to this worthy woman. She gave me lessons and very wise advice that, had I followed it, would have my life far less tempestuous, and thus far less worth recounting today.
— Casanova - The Story Of My Life (Volume I)

Casanova visited her house, here in the courtyard, on many occasions throughout his life and Signora Manzoni offered him sound advice, predicted his downfalls, stored his love letters and valuables, and helped him out of tricky situations by lending him money for gambling debts or by providing important letters of introduction to give to her influential friends on his travels.



Whilst in the courtyard, you should walk to the steps which lead down to the Grand Canal. This is where theatregoers to the Teatro San Samuele would depart their boats. You can imagine a young Casanova sat here admiring the great view of the beautiful Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore opposite (the building with the two statues). In 1761, this became home to Count Filippo Giuseppe Orsini-Rosenberg, the Ambassador to Rome, and his wife Giustiniana Wynne, whom married three years after she would be tricked into having sex with Casanova three or four times, whilst in Paris, believing that rubbing his penis with saffron and honey would help her abort the unwanted fetus she was carrying. Much later, a 49 year old Casanova would visit his friend, Giacomo Durazzo (Orsini-Rosenberg's replacement), at the same residence, in 1774 and Mozart would play at the venue, which you can now stay the night in.