10 - Traghetto di San Toma
Calle del Tragheto - Where Casanova met Countess A.S.
Leaving Salizzada San Samuele (with the hotel at no.3358 on your left), take the small street, Ramo De La Piscina, straight ahead (between Calle Corner O Del Magazen and the Trattoria). Once on Piscina S.Samuele, turn left and take the left hand fork down the incredibly narrow Calle Traghetto Vecchio straight down to the Grand Canal.
Here you will find the Servizio Gondole San Thoma, a traghetto ferry stop that still exists from Casanova's days. Watching these large undecorated gondolas with their two oarsmen making the short journey across the canal, it is not hard to imagine the scene in 1746.
It was a dark night and a 21 year old Casanova, wearing a mask and stood on the spot you are now, watched the packed gondola approach with the Venetians on board - as they still do, to this day - remaining stood up for the entire crossing. As they got off at the jetty, amongst them was a hooded lady with golden curls who looked upset and frightened - probably more so when approached by a complete stranger in a mask. Casanova, forever the gentleman, offered her assistance, comforted her and took her to a nearby wine bar.
The girl, he labels "Countess A.S.", explained how she been abandoned by her fiancee, Zanetto Steffani, a local young nobleman whom had fled Venice with large debts ahead of her arrival. Casanova helped find her lodgings and even talked her out of committing suicide by taking away her knife.
Over the next few days, she would soon forget her situation by spending time with Casanova and the two would enjoy rebound sex before her father would come collect her and take her home.