Archivio tag: history

Homosexuality in Venice in the Middle Age

Homosexuality in Venice in the Middle Age

The word homosexuality was created by merging the greek word “omoios”, which means
 homosexuality similar  and the Latin word “sexus”, which means ” sex,” and refers to ” a disposition to experience sexual , emotional or romantic attraction to persons of the same sex. ” Homosexuality is found in many animal species. The spread of homosexuality in humans is difficult to determine accurately , although in many ancient cultures homosexual relations were highly prevalent.

The history of homosexuality is also the story of social attitudes towards a possible behavior perceived as ” deviant “. The social attitude toward homosexual behavior has known moments of relative tolerance , during which the society admitted a certain degree of discussion and public exhibition of the topic, also through art and cultural productions ( for example in classical Athens , Renaissance in Tuscany , or Berlin and Paris before the war ) , however, alternating with moments of harsh repression .



With the birth of the gay movement , you can finally look at this world as a ‘community ‘ structured according to their values and their rituals .But how was seen in the past homosexuality. The male was brought up to be master and ruler in the erotic relationship , and this demanded to be also in the homosexual relationship. When speak about homosexuality at that times, speak almost automatically ,about a relationship between an adult and a boy of age  between fourteen and eighteen (remember that at the time puberty came later).

One of the reasons , tacitly accepted even by parents , was “ to be initiated to sexuality, although, in a way felt as a ” surrogate” and certainly not satisfactory . ” The second important reason was the money (very important in a poor society like that .) The money that a guy could add to the family budget from prostitution were not frowned upon by all households and not all parents were willing to ask from where the money came.The third reason was to attract the attention of an adult ( another important aspect when the boy want to have a career) .It was good use among the nobles to agree to take home a “boy ” as roundsman, and in return he could take it to bed without problems.In the Middle Age in Venice were the so-called  ” boccia da cullo”.



The Serenissima Republic emits laws, which punish harshly the conduct “against nature” ;the homosexuality .Homosexuals were hanged between the two columns of the St. Mark square, and then burned until “they were reduced to ashes” .A really big blow staged the magistrates of the republic of Venice in 1407: thirty sodomites were discovered and prosecuted. The event , beyond the serious political complications which caused (fourteen defendants were nobles) becomes a great interest for us,because it is one of the first traces of a network of acquaintances among the sodomites in the Italian cities of the Middle Ages .

Mass arrests continue to punctuate the trial papers Venetian for centuries . We find another example already in 1422 : nineteen people involved , including three barbers and several minors , then in 1464 are indicted fourteen people ( including five nobles) , but many of them fleeing before being arrested.On 1474 six sodomites ,two of which nobles co-defendants. The story takes on the hues of a thriller when the accuser is mysteriously murdered.



But by the presence of the homosexuality ,speak to us even the very laws of Venice. One of them, in 1450 , mentions the arcades near the Rialto and the church of St. Martin as meeting places of sodomites . In addition, the Arsenal supervisors, where the church of St. Martin is, decided that ” at the

expense of our Treasury the portico of St.Martin , will be shut with big axis ,doing four doors on all four sides of the columns, which will be opened and closed in accordance with the timetable of the church .


san martino

san martino

” Five years after this decree , in 1455 , it was decided to patrol certain areas of Venice, to prevent that the sodomites find themselves in their meeting places.In 1488 an edict requires to close with wooden planks the porch of the church of Santa Maria Mater Domini for the same reasons it was already closed St. Martin porch. ” A further list of places “to watch” is drawn in a decree of 1496 , which lists : ” stores, country houses, schools, all the arcades, the houses of scaleteri (bakers), taverns, brothels ,houses of prostitutes . “Some decrees of the “Council of ten” promulgated in the same century , announce , to eradicate ” abhominabile vitium sodomiae . ” Were elected two nobles for only district who had to pick the college of deputies each Friday ,to investigate above the homosexuality . The doctors and barbers, called to treat any man or female, had three days to denounce their “secrets of love “. The members of the patrols will be required to interrogate and  investigate if someone manages public places or houses that are called “country houses” (taverns), in which is committed illegal and dishonest acts, or if there are frequent street conversations between not apropriate age friends, ie adults conversing with boys. A new decree , this time to be monitored also scaleteri ( bakers ) , ” because we have been warned the fact that the home of many scaleteri of our city , many young people, and others of different ages and conditions,found by day and by night , and play here and keep tavern, and many commit dishonest acts and sodomy . ”

veronica franco

veronica franco

The most famous , processes, many cases against homosexuals or violence ” against nature” are those against Francesco Cercato who was hanged for sodomy between the columns of the Piazzetta San Marco in 1480 , and that Francesco Fabrizio , priest and poet, who was beheaded and burned in 1545 for the ” unspeakable vice .”The Counter-Reformation, the response to the reform of Martin Luther ( established by the Council of Trent, 1570) had as its purpose to ” imprint a more severe moral and Christian spirit .” The main problem of Venice, a country crossroads of people coming and going throughout the Mediterranean , homosexuality ( a common practice in Venice) was sentenced in Council of Trent .As a result of this reform , the Senate ,decreated that in some places of the city were allowed to put whores who “will showcase their virtues to attract a growing number of men and so firmly maintain the uses of an heterosexual culture“. On the “Carampane area ” , near the Rialto , Venice was one of the areas in which the prostitutes of Venice were forced to concentrate since the fifteenth century to the disposal of public order laws .In 1509 there were 11,654 courtesans in Venice surveyed ( out of a population of 150,000 inhabitants … )

It was not supposed to be easy for sodomites to live peaceful and without guilt . In a world dominated by the church the sin was punished not only by men but also by God.
Despite this, the homosexuality still persists, and occurs especially to young people ,that
could lead to difficulties in socializing and serious consequences for the individual,
including suicide.





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The courtesan Veronica Franco

The courtesan Veronica Franco

tiziano-venezia-cortigiana-766x297The courtesan Veronica Franco the only daughter of Paola and Francesco Franco was born in Venice in 1546. The daughter of a “honest” courtesan Veronica Franco was started in this art from her mother at a young age and, as she had learned to use her natural talents, she managed to contract a financially favorable marriage .He had three brothers: Jerome, who died during the plague on 1575, Horace and Seraphim, “which is in the hands of the Turks” as she wrote in her testament.  She got married very young with a rich doctor, but the marriage ended badly (in 1582 he was already dead).

veronica franco

veronica franco

Being a courtesan allowed her to study, to have the freedom and independence while
the noble women could neither study nor take decisions outside of the run of the housework.She could read, be interested in art, poetry, inviting the great intellectuals of that time in her living room . Between all these friendships met Tintoretto who dedicated her a beautiful portrait.The courtesan Veronica Franco, was an complete intellectual : writer, musician, curator of collections of poetry, essayist,and that wasn’t an isolated case. This kind of ” intellectual” prostitute had a selected customer. Among her protectors was Marcantonio della Torre, in charge of Verona, Lodovico Ramberti,from an ancient and illustrious family, Guido Antonio Pizzamano, employed by the judiciary in the “avogadori” ,the public tax.

For all these quality she became a high-ranking courtesan . Was included in the “Catalogue of most honorate courtesans of Venetia ” (published around 1565 ) , which provided the list name, address and the rates of courtesans of the city , according to which a ” kiss of these courtesan cost five or six shields . ” Thanks to her friendship with the wealthy and prominent members of the time,soon became very well known .

In 1574 her reputation as a high-ranking courtesan reached its peak when Henry III of Valois , making a stop in Venice on July 18 to 28 ( Serenissima welcomed him with 11 days of celebrations , organized by artists such as Andrea Palladio , Andrea Gabrieli, Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto ) , during the journey that brought him back from Poland to France, “chose, to spend a night with Veronica “. In memory of the encounter with the illustrious guest ,Veronica gave him, her portrait (maybe a little colored enamel ) with a letter accompanied by two sonnets :” Come talor dal ciel sotto umil tetto” e “Prendi, re per virtù sommo e perfetto”.” Sometimes from heaven under the humbly roof ” and “Take ,a king for supreme and perfect virtues” .

veronica franco

veronica franco

At the beginning of 1570 , became part of one of the most famous literary circles of the city, participating in discussions , making donations and taking care of anthologies of poetry. Related with the intellectual Venetian aristocracy she made ​​friends the famous artists and writers . Assiduously attended the famous literary circle ” Ca ‘ Venier ” that revolved around Domenico Venier , ingenious poet , entertainer and patron of the association , as well as her trusted advisor, and perhaps reviewer of her writings.
Of that academy of virtuous as she calls herself in a letter, were : Gradenigo G. , C. Magno , G. Molin , J. Zane ,as well as Venier : Dominic, his brother Lorenzo , Marco ( often appearing as a correspondent of her ” Loving rhymes”)In 1575 , during the epidemic of plague that devastated the city ,the courtesan Veronica Franco was forced to leave Venice and ,after the sacking of his house and its possessions , lost much of her riches. She appeal the ecclesiastical authority to obtain an an order for delivery by the patriarch .In October 1575 appear before the tribunal of the Holy Office “Veronica Franco public courtesan” , accused of immorality and suspected of witchcraft ( a common accusation to the courtesans ) following the acusations of ,Vannitelli Ridolfo , who testified to having seen her” resorting to witchcraft and demonic invocations to find the goods that had been stolen “. In particular, a practice very much in vogue at the time, called ” inghistara “, done with a jug full of holy water.

The court absolved her, perhaps, by the intervention of Venetian politicians .


At the age 34 seems that she decided to leave the profession of courtesan and to devote herself to charitable works ,as is shown by her Memorial . Veronica Franco wrote two volumes of poetry : “Third rhymes” in 1575 and “Letters to various family members” in 1580. She also published collections of letters , gathered in an anthology of the works of famous writers  After the success of these works , she founded a charity for courtesans and their children .



After 1580 is little known about her life, however, the extant documents bear the fact that, even if she obtained the freedom,she lost all the wealth and material goods.
Her death follows from the magistrate’s Obituaries for Health “1591 July 22. Ms. Veronica Franca 45 years with fever already 20 days . S. Moses church. ”


In 1509, Venice, according to the chronicler of the “diaries of Marin Sanudo”, there were 11,654 prostitutes and a population of about 150 thousand people. About 10% of the population. Even in Rome, the city of the Popes, were approximately 10%, 6,800 in 1490 and 4,900 in 1526. The prostitutes were not only numerous, they were also very visible.


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Venezian old carneval feasts

Venezian old carneval feasts


These feasts were celebrated in the eighteenth century , when the Carnival began in
the first Sunday, on October .

Venezian carnival feast; Bull hunt

Bull fighting usually started from the first day until the last Sunday of Carnival. The chase

started ( in a different section of the city) every day of the week except Friday.bulls_pag29The fact it was possible to throw in the channel in case of danger, helped much to not to be reported seriuous accidents .The hunt ” cazza ” was allowed only during Carnival , and was actualy a fight between dogs and a bull ,not a hunt as we understand it . The final act took place usually in St. Polo,square, with a similar dynamic like the bull fighting in Pamplona ( Spain).

The bull, instigated by the dogs,was retained by the horns through the ropes by the young men called ” tiradori ” who showed thus their strength and ability. It should be noted that women also competed regularly to the “hunt” .The bulls that were unleashed on the street,unlike those Spaniards who are young, strong and irascible animals, were old and winded , and even the oxen. Free, or tied with ropes to the horns , the poor animals, after being subjected to ill-treatmentand by the humans, were torn to pieces by dogs and then slaughtered .

Even during the eighteenth century , on the day of Shrove Tuesday the venetians continuing to organize the ” cazza ” ( hunting) of the bull.

Venezian carnival feast ; the cat

” A very cruel game , popular until the late eighteenth century in festivals, mainly in the area caccia al toro in spaniaof Santa Maria Formosa. The game develops in that way: a cat was tied upside down above a table , by leather straps ,that grip the abdomen and let free the legs . Competitors , head shaved and protecting his face
with his hands ,should be able to kill the poor animal with the least possible number of warheads .The animal in defense could hurt the shaved head exposed to the claws ”

Companie di calze

From the middle of the 15th century to the end of the 16 th century the organisation of the festival activities was delegated to the “companie di calze” .These asociations of young venezians nobles could be distinguished by their variously multicoloured patterned hose.Each stoking group had imaginative names which were inspirated by and reflected particular virtutes: “florid” ones,”united” ones,and “the concordi”. Others derived their names from contemporary works ortolani, zardineri,cortesi and sempiterni.
the aim of these grups was to create and preparate the entertainment and shows during the carnival .Between the 1487 and 1565 were 23 different groups throughout venice.


Venezian carneval feast; The eel in barrel

” This game was still in vogue and is sometimes repeated in some block party . Consists in be able to grasp with the teeth an eel swimming in a barrel of water blackened with squid ink . ”

Venezian carneval feast ; Bagordi , and tournaments
GIOSTRE E TORNEI” Bagordi” were the performances of mock battles between the two teams, on the narrow streets, which offered an decent show.Sometimes instead the rides were carried out to test the ability of the knights in the use of the lance: they had to slip rings on the tip of the spear, thus removing them from their support. There was “shooting with crossbows” quite common tournaments, who occurred in specific areas of the city known as “targets.” It is
also reminiscent the fake attacks on fake wooden forts built for these occasion as well as mock sea battles. ”


Today, the celebrations last about two weeks. In St. Mark’s Square and camps are organized pageants , concerts,various performances and fireworks.




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Venice-history , Lion of St. Mark

Venice- Lion of St. Mark

MusŽe national du Moyen-åge
The lion became the symbol of the St.Mark because his Gospel begins like that :” remember the voice of the Baptist in the wilderness ,rises like a roar , announcing the coming of Jesus to men “; well, the lion quickly became also the symbol of the Serenissima.

St. Irenaeus , Bishop of Lyons , interprets the four living Tetramorph ( symbols of Middle Eastern origin ) as symbols of the four Evangelists : Mark ( the winged lion ) , Luke ( who later became the bull calf ) , Matthew ( the winged man ) and John ( the eagle ) dei primi,nella ,chiesa di saint aponal

In Venice the symbolism of the lion of St. Mark comes from an ancient tradition
, according to which St. Mark’s going to Alexandria in order to convert the infidels of
that country, on a dark stormy night, his ship was boarded, seek shelter in one of the fishermen’s huts  on the island, “called Rialto”. After a frugal dinner with the fishermen the saint leaned on the ground,fell asleep and in the dream he saw an angel  ” of a winged lion form ” who thus spoke to him , “On this island ,a wonderful city will rise and in this great day you will find your final resting place , and you will find the final peace  <Pax tibi , Marce , Evangelista meus.Hic requiescet corpus tuum >. ” ( Peace to you , Mark, my evangelist . shall rest here your body. ) ” . Mark woke up in the morning and told his dream to the fishermen , before setting sail again to the Egypt, where he died .
The book, often mistakenly associated with the Gospel , reproduce the words of welcome from the lion , in most of the representations and , is usually open ,bearing the Latin inscription ” PAX TIBI SPEED EVANGELISTA Mevs »

piazza san marcoThe body of St. Mark was smuggled by two venecians traders,in a basket of vegetables and pork, to escape of the Muslim guards . One story tell us that when they arrived in Venice from Egypt, Alexandria (where Mark had founded the first Christian church ) ,in the year 828 , a huge crowd waiting for them , and when they set foot on the ground, an intense scent of roses spread to the pier .
Piazza San Marco
With the arrival of the St. Mark’s body and the building of the first Basilica (St. Mark’s ), the area began to assume its characteristic of monumental heart of the city.In front of the big channel on a pedestal houses the statues of Todaro , ( Theodore ) first saint patron of the city, slaying the dragon, and St. Mark, depicted as a winged lion,a very old sculpture .

The lion , raised , such as S. Theodore, on a column of Egyptian granite with medieval capital , depicts a bronze winged lion (perhaps a gilded once ) , with full mane advancing with open jaws .The earliest mention is in 1293 , (however, is already talk of restorations) , but the column on which seat was brought to Venice in 1172 , between these two dates ( mid-thirteenth century . approximately ) must be the placement of the lion.It was removed by Napoleon, who placed him in the Place des Invalides in Paris , and returned to Venice in 1815 , when it fell, and broke into many pieces, and was restored .

It was believed originally to be a ” chimera  “to which were added the wings, then Romanesque , Assyrian , Indian , Chinese and Sassanian ,statue,but there is reason to believe that , like other ancient Venetian statues come from Constantinople or from the Levant .
soldino Francesco Dandolo,1329-39-leone con vesilloDuring the Republic of Venice , the Lion was represented everywhere ; outside the buildings, as the stone statues , inside of them, on frescoes and paintings ,to decorate columns and standard-bearer,on coins and , of course, on banners and flags .
Leone di San Marco in cartella 1519
The spread of the winged lion , in territories subject to the Serenissima , make it become one of the few symbols ,wellknown throughout the world as the Lion of St. Mark

The Lion of St. Mark ( “Marciano” lion or winged lion of St. Mark ) with the closed book that was performed in a time when Venice was at war and so was contrary to the word ” Pax ” (” Peace “), ( so the winged lion , the leone_san_marco libro chiuso 1symbol representing St. Mark the Evangelist could not keep open the Gospel with the words Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus ) is a legend not founded.
In fact the book, always closed with clips and sometimes in plain sight, was the norm until the second half of the the fourteenth century , throughout the Gothic Age .
The winged lion with the book closed was also the symbol of the ” Magistrate of the Health ” at the time of the Serenissima.

this is also all the ‘ classic iconography of Leo, is in fact rests on the ground thatcarapaccio 1516
at sea , holding up the book (open) with the written classical , it is ” Andante ” with the background of the Doge’s Palace and the Laguna , is , in essence , a perfect synthesis of what Leo meant for the Serenissima .

lion in moeca
leone in moeca” Moleca ” in Venetian dialect means ” crab ” : the feathers of the wings of the type of lion said” In moleca ” seem to open itself up as claws.In fact seems to emerge from the water, and so carries an additional ideological message , referring to the purity of Venice, born from the sea , free from political interference from nearby territorial powers .


leone con il libro aperto“lion with open book” ,is a paint exposed in an office of a judiciary in S.Mark.
The writing on open book says :

” Linquitur odium hic et metus omnis rebus ardor ” and ” Plectitur hicque scelus libratum cuspide veri” which means :
” Here you leave aside hatred , jealousy and every impetuosity ” and ” Here will be punished the crime balanced on the needle of truth ”

The lions from the entrance of the Arsenale

Venezia-Arsenale-Leone greco (da Delo, sec. VI aC)The oldest of the four lions is to the right of the entrance of the Arsenale .
The most immediate comparison is with the lions of the agora of  Delos , dated by the middle of the seventh century . a. C. , which this lion must belong .

The most important perhaps , but each of the lions has interesting story , one coming from sacred island of Delos, in the archipelago of the Cyclades Islands in Greece ( the second to last on the right front door, Arsenal ) , dated the sixth century BC, in memory of the Venetian conquest of Corfu in 1716.

Of different origin and age the lion comes to the left of the entrance , according to the inscription that accompanies it,come from Piraeus, and the body has two inscriptions in runic characters , memories of Scandinavian mercenaries ( Varangi ) that in 1040 , in the service of Byzantium, were sent to quell an insurrection in Athens.The lion was a well-known monument of Piraeus, was there from the first or second century . His fame was such that the Italians called the Piraeus,the Port of the Lion.leone di Arsenale

The lion statue , white marble and approximately 3 meters high , is carved in Pentelic marble , which is well known , it was not used for the construction of artistic monuments before the time of Pericle. As some art historians said this lion can be dated back to the fifth century BC.



The first traces of human presence in the Veneto region date back to the Lower Paleolithic .The objects are present in many places , the most important in “Riparo Tagliente” in Valpantena . Here, in a grave,was found  a stone engraved with the figure of a lion , stirring so the legend of the Lion of San Marco with its prehistory .



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Venice – The rules inscribed on the stone

Venice – The rules inscribed on the stone

bocca-di-leoneThe rules regarding the daily life of the Venetians, were inscribed on the stone to confirm that the respect for the citizens and the consumers was on the first place , and remained stable over time.
On the year 1300 many of the laws of Venice provided the “protection of minor child workers” , the “separation of interest between doctors and pharmacists” even an “institution of public health service”, and a set of rules at the vanguard of justice and the public institution .

In 1542 it was decreed a law that established that the acceptance of complaints “were cited” only if there was at least three witnesses to testimony the facts .(see the article ” Mouths of the Leon” )

Venezia Gobbo de Rialto” Gobbo di Rialto” was used as a podium for the official proclamations : “the statutes “of
Venice or “the name of the offenders” would have been proclaimed by an officer standing on the block , he had to read the same laws standing up on the “Pietra del Bando”(stone of the notice) near Piazza San Marco.

Pietra del bandoRegarding the rules inscribed on the stone at the Rialto Market in the ” market of the Fish” , is a plaque with the ” minimum dimensions of the fish”  that were sold , to safeguard the fishing, and , at the same time make uniform the price of this food consumed in big quantity in Venice.The same type of plaque is located in campo Santa Margherita ,(Saint Margaret champ). On these stones are engraved the rules for fishing , the size of the fish and the mollusc propper size to be sold.160120141058

An other stone , located in Campo SS. Apostles , with a great ” lion moleca “(see San Mark’s leon) ,engraved at the top, determined the quality of bread and flour which were to be used,giving an precise definition to this staple food.

Even today, on the banks of some rivers you can see a “C” which means ” common sea ” – conventional reference -which coincided with the top of the ” greenish- black ” strip caused by the oscillation of the tide along the banks of the chanals.The buildings were built ” three feet over common ” – safe from flooding.

lapide chiesa santo stefanoOther stone plates were used for the moral life of the citizens, urging not to blaspheme ,
(  the Serenissima had Catholic religion, but his government was secular ! ) .

In the resort Moranzani (7.68 km from Venice, near Malcontenta ) , named after the Roman name ; Maurentius ,there was a place of control to collect the toll of the duty of the boats that sailed on the river Brenta.In this place we can see two marble slabs where are carved the old rates of transit.The locations becomes an important point of transit for the “Burchiello boat” (see the wells, barges and commercial boats, carrying the necessary food to the cities and towns.
leggi in pietraIt’s wonderful still reread those rules on these plates ,that remember you a very careful Republic ,to its environment, and its citizens who willingly accepted rules and laws , which were not allowed to seek or cheat others!

The “pietra di inciampo stumbling blocks”

A few days ago on “Campo del Ghetto Nuovo” in front of the Israelite Nursing Home, the place from which 21 guests were deported to the Nazi concentration camps , have been placed , the ‘ stumbling blocks ‘, with name and surname of the victim deported and died in concentration camps .

Hidden Venice .

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Venice -Giacomo Casanova turistic guide


Venice- Casanova ;

Casanova ritrattoGiacomo Casanova (1725 – 1798) citizen of the Republic of Venice , adventurer,writer , poet, alchemist , diplomat, philosopher and Italian secret agent .From him remains a vast literary production , but his name became synonymous with the seducer due to his book “Histoire de ma vie “( Story of My Life , French was the international language at that time), where the author describes his adventures.

The image of an erotic Venice , which has seduced by her charm ;lovers and libertines ,who arrived here from every corner of Europe to consume their passions, had been handed down since the eighteenth century.
What we propose you is a beaten path , discovering the places frequented by one of the most renowned and representative eighteenth-century character; from an luxurious , decadent and libertine Venice .


Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice .
His father was Gaetano Casanova , an actor and dancer ;the mother Zanetta Farussi , Venetian actress with a high success rate . Carlo Goldoni in his memoirs , called her ” a very beautiful and very talented ….widow.”

When his father died, and with his mother constantly on the road for her profesion ,was grown by his maternal grandmother . As a child in poor health , his grandmother took him to a “witch”, who seems to manage to heal the disorders from which he was suffering, performing a complicated ritual. After that ,the child’s  interest in the magical practices
accompanied him throughout his life.

Casanova Targa commemorativaGiacomo Casanova , born in Calle della Commedia ( now renamed Calle Malipiero,where can find a commemorative plaque ) in a building close to the Palazzo Malipiero ,

who was attended by him assiduously since 1740 ,and being confident with the Senator Alvise Gasparo Malipiero the second .Here he had the opportunity to weave a first set of relationships withPalazzo Malipiero authority figures and with a good number of ladies, until the
day when he was caught in the company of Teresa ( the young woman of whom was in love Alvise ), another reason to be chased from Venice.

After the death of his grandmother, and the sale of the expensive house from” Calle della Commedia”; in the year 1743 we find him arested ,as a result of his (rather turbulent) conduct, in the Fort of St. Andrew ,from the end of March to the end of July. More than the application of a penalty , it was a warning that  try to correct the character.

Forte S AndreaThe “Fort of Sant’Andrea” is a fortress built at the half of the year 1500 ,on the ruins of an earlier defensive building; now in ruins,was an important part of the defensive system of the lagoon of Venice.

During his second stay in Ancona (During the first was forced to “pass” the quarantine on the Lazaretto island , where he had had an love affair with a Greek slave ) Casanova had one of his most ” strange adventures” : fell in love with a self-styled castrated singer, Bellino , convinced that it was actually a woman . But Casanova sighed of relief when  find out what he hoped : the gelding was actually a girl,   The orphane Teresa , was posing as a gelding and singing in the theaters of the Papal States , where it was forbidden the women performing.

Palazzo Merati Palace Merati on “Fondamente Nove”, (in the building that now belongs to Emile Targhetta D’Audifret) , lived the mother and the sisters of Casanova.In this rich apartment , where he lived when he returned to Venice after receiving the grace , we can find the alcove complete with a bed canopy where the famous seducer consumed his nocturnal adventures with Palazzo Merati  baldachinothe Venetian ladies .
He then returned to Venice, for a time he earned his living by playing the violin in the theater of San Samuele ,  properties of the noble family, Grimani ,(at his father’s death , which occurred prematurely (1733), Grimani’s had officially taken the protection of the boy , supporting the popular rumor according to which one of the Grimani , Michael, was the true father of Casanova).

The theater San Samuele in Venice was one of the most prestigious theater among those active in the lagoon’s city .During the XVII sec , the Venice City Council bought it , demolished it ,in 1894 and built a school in that area .

For lunch we racommend you to go towards Rialto,where, just down from the bridge  will find “sotoportego the Do Mori” and you can make a stop in the homonymous tavern, where, since the year 1500 preparing typical Venetian foods that you can taste,  with a delicious “Malvasia”, just like used to do Casanova, when stops here and wait for his lovers or chat with the customers. Continuing towards the fish market, you could stop at the ancient restaurant Poste Vecie, (opened in the year 1500), where,  Casanova passed lot of time too.

 Next to the church “Della Salute” is built a convent , (also designed by Longhena) , where , in 1742 Casanova studied physics.

In 1746 he became friend of the Venetian patrician Matthew Bragadin .   “Struck by an illness , the nobleman was rescued from Casanova and became convinced that his life was saved, thanks to the timely intervention . As a result began to consider Casanova almost like a son , protecting him , as long as he lived. Casanova came in contact with the two brotherly friends of the Senator : Marco Dandolo and Marco Barbaro ,who also became deeply attached by him and “as long as they lived , they held him under their protection” . The association with the nobles attracted the interest of the Inquisitors of State and Casanova , on the advice of Bragadin , left Venice waiting for better times.

Younger son of Andrea Bragadin , belonged to a family of Dalmatian origin , one of the four so-called evangelical families( Bembo , Bragadin , Corner, Giustiniani ) the ancient nobility of Venice. Along with older brother Daniel (1683-1755 , Procurator of San Marco in 1735 ) inherited the fortunes of the family and it was the last descendant .
Ca' Farsetti (palazzo dandolo)The Barbarian was one of the most important noble families of Venice.
Among the most famous members of the family there were many humanists. They were the patriarchs of Aquileia between 1491 and 1622.

The Chronicles trace the Dandolo family with ancient origins in Altino city , a branch of the Roman gens, Ursia , which were connected with Theodatus Ipato , the third Venezia Palazzo Barbaro sul Canal Grandeand fourth doge of Venice (Maritim Republic) , as well as the other major Ducal family of Orseoli , reigning between the second half of the tenth century and the first half of the eleventh century.

In June of 1750, in Lyon, Casanova joined the Freemasons, like many people present in his life ,(Mozart and Franklin were certainly Freemasons) .
Returning to Venice after a long stay in Paris and other trips to Dresden , Prague and Vienna, in the night between the 25th and July 26, 1755 , he was arrested and confined in the ” Piombi” prison.The charge wasn’t notified , but it was clear the danger of the possible elimination by the inquisitors , who were the special court and central espionage too.

At this is also added the scandalous relationship entertained with  ” Nun MM” , (certainly belonging to the nobility ),nun in the convent of S. Maria degli Angeli in Murano, and lover of the French Abbe  , de Bernis .

chiesa santa maria degli angeli( From Venice ACTV  watrbus number 3 (direct) , 4.1 and 4.2 to Murano)
The church Santa Maria degli Angeli is just a few minutes walk ,from the bus stop Murano Venier .On this island hapened one of the most legendary adventures of the seducer : the love affair with MM, a mysterious nun of the convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Murano island. Here you will (still) find the wooden bridge and the door of the convent where the nun came out , accompanied by a young lady , both lovers of Casanova, who was waiting in a gondola, in the dark of the night , hidden  his identity behind a mask .

From  that place, ” witness for secret meetings” , today remains only the uninhabited and the crumbling of the austere convent and the church , with the wellhead in the garden, hid in the tall grass .But the atmosphere of mystery and solitude wich still reigns around there will take you back in time, igniting your imagination …

As soon as he recovered from the shock of the arrest, Casanova began to organize his escape. A first attempt was a shift of the cell. During the night of 31 October and 1 November 1756 , moving from cell to the attic through a hole in the ceiling practiced by a companion , climbed on the roof and then lowered himself back inside the palace by a skylight . They moved on ( together with the accomplice ) through various rooms ,being noticed by a passerby (who thought they was  visitors locked inside ).So, called one of the attendants who opened the door , allowing the two to get out and go away in a gondola .

Piazza San Marco, elegant square with its cafes and its hidden corners has been the scene of many erotic adventures of seducer.
The coffee bar Florian, founded in 1720th was attended by Casanova but also by other famous characters as Byron, Goete, Richard Wagner, Charles Dickens, Woody Allen.

Il ponte dei sospiriIn the back of the square on Calle Vallaresso , you can find that once was the gambling house (the famous Reduced ), today part of the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal , where Casanova,hide behind a mysterious mask , spent many hours gambling in the company of Venetian noblemen ,waiting for one of his gallant restaurant grand-canalmeetings .Before  leaving the square, we suggest you a visit to the , terrible prisons (i piombi-Leads ) which is accessed through the Bridge of Sighs , where Casanova was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment, but from which he escaped through a hole in the ceiling.

Returning to Venice after eighteen years  he proposed himself to the Inquisitors as a spy , in favor of those that once were determined to sentence him to imprisonment . But the Casanova’s “information” weren’t particularly interesting ,and collaboration wearily dragged and interrupted for ” poor performance .”


During this period, he dedicated himself to writing and began a relationship with Francesca Buschini , a very  simple and uneducated woman.
Ultima abitazione di casanova Barbaria delle ToleThe apartment occupied by Casanova and Buschini ( today property of the noble family of Pesaro at S.Stae NA 6673 ) , corresponds to the three windows of the third floor located under the attic, which is seen in the upper image.

From Fondamente Nuove  towards Campo San Maurizio (ACTV waterbus stop Santa Maria del Giglio): in this field with the recognizable san Maurizio church and the  leaning tower,in the building on the right,( now the office of the  Azione Catolica), lived campo san maurizio e la torre pendente the Venetian erotic poet George Baffo, who exerted a profound influence on the young Casanova,to start the art of seduction and who was a great admirer of Casanova’s mother, (niknamed La Buranella).Baffo accompanied Casanova during the his first trip to Padua wherry to discover the pleasures of the world.


…so ,from Fondamente Nuove to Murano,then back to Campo san Maurizio,the first itinerary; then from Rialto to San Marco ;and the third a splendid trip on   canal grande (bigchannel) one of the symbols of the city ,where, alongside the entire length, you can see magnificent buildings, most of them builded between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries, very familiar places to Casanova.

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Venezia-Casanova-Guida turistica



Giacomo Casanova ( 1725- 1798) cittadino della Repubblica di Venezia, avventuriero,Casanova ritratto
scrittore, poeta, alchimista, diplomatico, filosofo e agente segreto italiano.
Di lui resta una produzione letteraria molto vasta ,ma il proprio nome diventa il sinonimo di seduttore fama dovuta alla sua opera Histoire de ma vie (Storia della mia vita,lingua francese,era la lingua internazionale a quell epoca),dove l’autore descrive le sue avventure .

L’immagine di una Venezia erotica, che con il suo fascino ha sedotto amanti e libertini arrivati fin qui da ogni angolo d’Europa per consumare le loro passioni licenziose, ci viene infatti tramandata fin dal settecento.
Quello che vi proponiamo qui è un itinerario insolito, alla scoperta dei luoghi frequentati da uno dei personaggi più celebri e più rappresentativi dell’aspetto lussurioso, libertino e decadente della Venezia settecentesca.

Giacomo Casanova nacque a Venezia 1725, il padre  Gaetano Casanova, un attore e ballerino e la madre Zanetta Farussi, un’attrice veneziana di grande succeso. Carlo Goldoni nelle sue Memorie, la definì: “….una vedova bellissima e assai valente”.
Rimasto orfano di padre e con la madre costantemente in viaggio per la sua profesione fu allevato dalla nonna materna.Da piccolo di salute cagionevole, la nonna lo condusse da una fattucchiera che pare essere riuscita a guarirlo dai disturbi da cui era affetto eseguendo un complicato rituale. Dopo quell’esperienza infantile, l’interesse per le pratiche magiche lo accompagnerà per tutta la vita .

Giacomo Casanova, nato in Calle della Commedia (ora rinominata Calle Malipiero dove Casanova Targa commemorativatroviamo una targa commemorativa) in un edificio adiacente a Palazzo Malipiero,
lo frequentò assiduamente dal 1740, essendo divenuto confidente del Senatore Alvise II Malipiero detto Gasparo.Qui ebbe l’occasione di tessere una prima Palazzo Malipieroserie di rapporti con personaggi autorevoli e con un buon numero di dame, fino al giorno in cui fu sorpreso in compagnia di Teresa, (la giovane di cui Alvise II era innamorato), un altro motivo per essere cacciato da Venezia.

Si laureò in diritto all’università di Padova.

Dopo la morte di sua nona ,e la vendita della costosa casa in Calle della Commedia nell anno 1743 lo troviamo rinchiuso, a causa della sua condotta piuttosto turbolenta, nel Forte di Sant’Andrea dalla fine di marzo alla fine di luglio. Più che l’applicazione di una pena, fu un avvertimento tendente a cercare di correggerne il carattere.

Il Forte di Sant’Andrea a Venezia è una fortezza edificata alla metà del ’500 sui resti di precedenti opere difensive ormai in rovina, parte del sistema difensivo della laguna di Forte S AndreaVenezia
Durante il suo secondo soggiorno ad Ancona
(Durante il primo era stato costretto a passare la quarantena nel Lazzaretto dove aveva avuto una relazione con una schiava greca ) ,Casanova ebbe una delle sue più strane avventure: si innamorò di un sedicente cantante castrato, Bellino, convinto che si trattasse in realtà di una donna. Ma Casanova riuscì a scoprire ciò che sperava: il castrato era in realtà una ragazza, Teresa, che, per sopravvivere dopo essere rimasta orfana, si faceva passare per un castrato in modo da poter cantare nei teatri dello Stato della Chiesa, dove era vietata la presenza di donne sul palcoscenico.

Palazzo Merati Sulle Fondamenta Nove,si trova il palazzo Merati (che oggi appartiene al conte Emile Targhetta D’Audifret), dove vissero la madre e le sorelle di Giacomo Casanova.In questo ricco appartamento( l’unico ancora rimasto nella zona dove abitò Casanova quando tornò a Venezia dopo aver ricevuto la grazia), si trova ancora l’alcova con tanto di letto a baldacchino e stucchi dove il famoso seduttore consumava le sue avventure notturne con le dame veneziane.Palazzo Merati  baldachino

Ritornò quindi a Venezia e per un certo periodo si guadagnò da vivere suonando il violino nel teatro di San Samuele, di proprietà dei nobili Grimani che, alla morte del padre, avvenuta prematuramente (1733), avevano assunto ufficialmente la tutela del ragazzo, avvalorando la voce popolare secondo la quale uno dei Grimani, Michele, fosse il vero padre di

Il Teatro San Samuele di Venezia fu uno dei teatri più prestigiosi fra quelli attivi nella città lagunare, durante il Settecento.Il Comune di Venezia lo acquistò, lo fece demolire nel 1894 ed edificò sull’area una scuola.

Accanto alla chiesa della salute venne costruito anche un convento, sempre su disegno del Longhena, dove, nel 1742 Casanova studò fisica.

Nel 1746 avvenne l’incontro con il patrizio veneziano Matteo Bragadin.
Colpito da un malore, il nobiluomo fu soccorso da Casanova  a dispetto delle indicazioni del medico di fiducia del Bragadin,  (che sembra ne avesse peggiorato le condizioni con medicamenti inappropriati) e si convinse che, grazie a quel tempestivo intervento, aveva potuto salvarsi la vita. Di conseguenza prese a considerarlo quasi come un figlio, contribuendo, finché visse, al suo mantenimento; Casanova venne in contatto con i due più fraterni amici del senatore: Marco Barbaro e Marco Dandolo, anch’essi gli si affezionarono profondamente e, finché vissero, lo tennero sotto la loro protezione. La frequentazione con i nobili attirò l’interesse degli Inquisitori di Stato e Casanova, su consiglio di Bragadin,lasciò Venezia in attesa di tempi migliori.

Figlio cadetto di Andrea Bragadin, Matteo , apparteneva a una famiglia di origine dalmata, una delle quattro famiglie cosiddette evangeliche (Bembo, Bragadin, Corner, Giustinian) di più antica nobiltà di Venezia.

I Barbaro furono una delle più importanti famiglie patrizie di Venezia.Ca' Farsetti (palazzo dandolo)
Tra i più celebri esponenti della famiglia vi furono numerosi umanisti. Furono patriarchi di Aquileia ben quattro Barbaro fra il 1491 e il 1622.

Le cronache fanno risalire la famiglia Dandolo ad antichissime origini altinati, ad un ramo della romana gens Ursia, a cui erano collegati Orso e Teodato Ipato, rispettivamente il terzo e il quarto doge della Venezia Marittima, così come l’altra grande famiglia ducale degli Orseoli, regnanti tra la seconda metà del X secolo e la prima metà dell’XI secolo.Venezia Palazzo Barbaro sul Canal Grande

Nel giugno del 1750, a Lione, Casanova aderì alla Massoneria,come, molti personaggi incontrati nel corso della sua vita, ( Mozart e Franklin) erano certamente massoni .
Ritornato a Venezia dopo il lungo soggiorno parigino e altri viaggi a Dresda, Praga e Vienna, nella notte tra il 25 e il 26 luglio 1755, fu arrestato e ristretto nei Piombi.Non venne notificato il capo d’accusa ,ma era evidente il pericolo della possibile eliminazione da parte degli inquisitori ,che erano insieme tribunale speciale e centrale di spionaggio.
Aquesto si aggiunge anche la scandalosa relazione intrattenuta con “suor M.M.”, certamente appartenente al patriziato,monaca nel convento di S. Maria degli Angeli in Murano, e amante dell’ambasciatore di Francia abate De Bernis.

(Da Venezia, linee ACTV numero 3 (diretto), 4.1 e 4.2)
La chiesa è raggiungibile in pochi minuti a piedi dalla fermata ACTV di Murano Venier  .In quest’isola si è consumata una delle avventure più leggendarie del seduttore:la storia
chiesa santa maria degli angelid’amore con M.M., la misteriosa monaca di clausura del convento di Santa Maria degli Angeli a Murano.

Scendendo alla fermata Venier troverete ancora il pontile di legno e la porticina del convento da cui usciva la monaca, accompagnata da una giovane compagna, entrambe amanti di Casanova, che le aspettava in gondola, nel buio della notte, celato dietro ad una
maschera che nascondeva la sua identità.Di quel luogo, testimone d’incontri segreti, oggi rimangono solo i resti disabitati e fatiscenti dell’austero convento e della chiesa, con la vera da pozzo del giardino, ormai nascosta in mezzo all’erba alta, ma l’atmosfera di mistero e di solitudine che ancora regna qui attorno vi riporterà indietro nel tempo, lasciando spazio alla vostra immaginazione…
Appena riavutosi dallo shock dell’arresto, Casanova cominciò ad organizzare la fuga. Un primo tentativo fu uno spostamento di cella. Nella notte fra il 31 ottobre e il 1º novembre 1756, passando dalla cella alle soffitte, attraverso un foro nel soffitto praticato da un compagno di reclusione, uscì sul tetto e successivamente si calò di nuovo all’interno del palazzo da un abbaino. Passò quindi,( in compagnia del complice ) le varie stanze e fu infine notato da un passante, che pensò fosse un visitatore rimasto chiuso all’interno e chiamò uno degli addetti al palazzo il quale aprì il portone, consentendo ai due di uscire e di allontanarsi fulmineamente con una gondola.

Il ponte dei sospiriPiazza San Marco, elegante piazza che con i suoi caffè e i suoi angoli nascosti è stata teatro di molte avventure erotiche del seduttore.Dietro la piazza, in calle Vallaresso, potete trovare quello che fu il famoso Ridotto, oggi parte dell’Hotel Monaco & Gran Canal e sede preferita da Veneziani e non, per celebrare matrimoni, ma che un tempo era la casa da gioco dove Casanova, celandosi dietro un misterioso travestimento, trascorreva molte ore giocando d’azzardo in compagnia dei nobiluomini veneziani, nell’attesa di uno dei suoi restaurant grand-canalincontri galanti.Prima di lasciare la Piazza vi suggeriamo una visita ai Piombi, le terribili prigioni di Palazzo Ducale, cui si accede attraversando il Ponte dei sospiri, dove Casanova fu condannato a trascorrere 5 anni di prigionia,ma da cui riuscì a fuggire attraverso un buco nel soffitto.

Ritornato a Venezia dopo diciott’anni di e si propose agli Inquisitori come spia, in favore di coloro che prima erano decisi a condannarlo alla reclusione .Le riferte di Casanova non furono mai particolarmente interessanti e la collaborazione si trascinò stancamente fino ad interrompersi per “scarso rendimento”.Aveva ancora delle frequentazioni di altissimo livello e non per niente era un ex carcerato evaso e poi graziato .

In questo periodo si dedicò all’attività di scrittore ed iniziò una relazione con Francesca Buschini, una ragazza molto semplice e incolta.

Ultima abitazione di casanova Barbaria delle ToleL’appartamento occupato da Casanova e dalla Buschini (di proprietà della nobile famiglia Pesaro di S.Stae NA 6673), corrisponde alle tre finestre del terzo piano situate sotto la soffitta che si vede in alto a sinistra.


 Da Fondamenta Nove  verso Campo San Maurizio (fermata Actv Santa Maria del Giglio): proprio in questo campo con il riconoscibile campo san maurizio e la torre pendentecampanile pendente, nel palazzo a destra, oggi sede dell’Azione Cattolica, abitava il
poeta erotico veneziano Giorgio Baffo, che esercitò una profonda influenza sul giovane Casanova, iniziandolo all’arte della seduzione e che fu un grande corteggiatore della madre di Casanova, l’attrice Giovanna Farussi, detta La Buranella.Fu proprio Baffo ad accompagnare Casanova durante il suo primo viaggio in Burchiello a Padova alla scoperta dei piaceri del mondo.


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Venice Saint Lucia


Venice -Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia – the Latin name  lux ,luce -“light” was associated with “the light way “, “thepath of light” , or “born at the rising of the light” ( sunrise ) “,then LUCIA -brightness,the lightest.

On the majority of the sources ,the date of his born” Dies Natalis ” :is December 13, (although in the mysterious Latin calendar of Sinai her ” Dies Natalis ” falls on February 8.)

December 13 was , indeed, the darkest day of the year ,the winter solstice ,and around that date ,Roman paganism already celebrated a goddess named Lucina , hence the theory that all the Christian holidays (such as that of Agatha ) would be imposed of pre-existing pagan cults .
225px-SantaluciaBut, what are the causes of the proliferation of Santa Lucia ,like protector of the view ?The episode of Lucia tearing eyes is unfounded , and absent in the multiple narratives and traditions, (at least until the fifteenth century ) . The emblem of the eyes on the cup , or on the plate ,are, simply, popular devotion .Like protector of the view has always invoked because of his name Lucia ( from latin lux – light).  We can talk about “expansion of the act of reading iconographic imagery” . On the paintings Lucia holds in his hand (or on a plate or on a tray ),two eyes, which is often accompanied by the lamp ( one of the most popular evangelical symbols and more beautiful, perhaps derived from the burial art ) Is for this reason that the iconography of Santa lucia, from the sec . XIV, is an interpreter and popularizer of this legend , depicting the saint with specific symbols that are missed before the modern references to its physiognomic data , for which artists were accustomed to resort to the Golden Legend of James of Voragine , which is the reference text and the source of much of the religious iconography .

Become master of Syracuse , blind, eye doctors , electricians, against eye diseases .

The acts of the martyrdom of Lucia of Syracuse were found in two ancient and diverse sources: one in the Greek text of which the oldest dates back to centuries V; the other , in Latin,from the end of the century. V which seems to be a translation of the Greek one.  The oldest Greek preparation of the martyrdom contains a hagiographic (relative to the saint’s life ) legend , reworked by an anonymous ,two centuries after her martyrdom on the oral tradition, from which it is still trying to establish the historical data.

While there were ,who has staunchly defended , admitting both the historicity of the martyrdom and the legitimacy of worship; from the other side there are those who has completely blamed , considering the narrative a mere contrivance imaginative of the narrator and with the absence of any cure for historical accuracy .

The martyrdom begins with a visit of Lucia ( whose father belongs to a rich family of Syracuse) and her mother Eutichia , to the tomb of Agatha, in Catania , to plead for the cure of the disease from which his mother was suffering : an unstoppable flow of the blood. Lucia , urges the mother to approach of the tomb of Agata and touch it with ” absolute faith ” and ” blind faith ” in the miraculous healing that the virgin martyr was capable of giving. At this point,Lucia , is taken from a deep sleep that leads her to a dream-like vision in which appears Agatha , and informed her of the healing of her mother and also predicts his future martyrdom , which will be the glory of Syracuse as well as Agatha had been for Catania.Lucia communicates to her mother her decision : to consecrate themselves to Christ! To this end, also asks to return her dispose and her assets to charity ( was promised in marriage to a pagan .) However, just during the return trip, Lucy succeeds , with its insistence, to convince his mother ,  to donate the parental assets to charity , which the virgin, initiate just arrived in Syracuse.

Corpo Santa Luzia II mascheraHowever , the news of the alienation of his father’s wealth comes immediately aware of the betrothed of the virgin, that it shall ascertain precisely with Eutichia which also asks the reasons for the sudden and unexpected decision .The woman made him believe that the decision was linked to a very profitable investment , and drove him to cooperate in the sale of the goods.Later, the boyfriend of Lucy, perhaps exacerbated by the continual  postponements of marriage, decides to report to the governor (Paschasius ) the Christian choice of his fiance( were applicable the decrees issued by the Emperor Diocletian about the persecution of the Christians ) . After the questioning the virgin “manages to argue with
the strength and security of those who are inspired by Christ”, but the governor
imposes the penalty of prostitution,and subjecting it to a kind of exorcism to expel ” the evil Spirit .”The virgin , tells him that his mind will not give up but if the body subjected to torture ,will turn against her mind ,  she will remain chaste, pure and untouched in spirit and mind.At this point there was a prodigious event: the virgin becomes immovable and steadfast and , no attempt fails to deliver her to give in, even the magicians specially convened by the ruthless Paschasius .Exasperated by such an extraordinary event , the governor ordered to burn her , but the fire even manages to not burn it. Lucia perish by the sword ! So , bend on her knees ,the virgin waiting for the final blow and , after having
prophesied the fall of Diocletian and Maximian, was beheaded.

An Syracuse  popular tradition ,said that after his last breathe, the body of Lucia was devoutly buried in the same place of martyrdom. In fact , according to the devotion of her countrymen , the body of the saint was placed in a niche carved into the tufa on the catacombs used as a tomb.
In the year ‘ 878 Syracuse was invaded by the Saracens and the citizens took away her body from there and hid it in a secret place to escape the fury of the invaders. It was then brought from Syracuse to Constantinople in ” a silver casket .” During the crusade of 1204 , the Venetians carried him to the monastery of St. George in Venice. Santa Lucia were elected the patron of the city , building a great church , where the body was kept until 1863, when it was demolished for the construction of the train station (which  is called VENICE SAINT LUCIA )
In the year 1860,the pope Pius IX did transfer the body in the church of Saints Jeremiah and Lucy, built with the material of the of the demolished church of St. Lucy were is venerated today. In 1955, the patriarch – Angelo (becamed Pope with the name John XXIII) -suggested that the remains will be covered with a silver mask to give more importance to the sacred relics of Saint Lucia .
cris 020On April 4, 1867 the remains of Lucy were desecrated by thieves (  arrested ), which were introduced into the church , to take possession of the votive ornaments . Then in 1949 , the martyr , he was deprived of the crown ( in this case the thief was arrested ) , and in 1969 , two thieves broke the glass urn. On November 7, 1981 two attackers broke the casket and the body of the martyr extracting the head and the silver mask . The body was just recovered on December 12 , 1981, on the eve of the commemoration of the saint.


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Venezia Santa Lucia

Santa Lucia

Il nome e latino ed era associato alla via Lucis, cioè cammino di luce,oppure  «nati al sorger della luce (cioè all’alba)»  quindi :Lucia = luminosa, splendente


la maggioranza delle fonti la data relativa al suo
“dies natalis”: 13 dicembre anche se nel misterioso calendario latino del Sinai il “dies natalis” di Lucia cade l’8 febbraio.

il 13 dicembre era, effettivamente, la giornata dell’anno percentualmente più buia , solstizio d’inverno;intorno a quella data, il paganesimo romano festeggiava già una dea di nome Lucina,da qui la teoria secondo la quale tutte le festività cristiane (come già quella di Agata) sarebbero state istituite in luogo di preesistenti culti pagani,

Ma, quali sono le cause del proliferare della tradizione relativa alla santa Lucia,
protettrice della vista?
L’episodio di Lucia che si strappa gli occhi e privo di ogni fondamento, ed assente nelle molteplici narrazioni e tradizioni, (almeno fino al secolo XV). L’emblema degli occhi sulla coppa, o sul piatto, è ricollegarsi, semplicemente, con la devozione popolare che l’ha sempre invocata protettrice della vista a motivo del suo nome Lucia (da Lux, luce).” Si può parlare di dilatazione dell’atto di lettura nell’immaginario iconografico, gli occhi, che Lucia
tiene in mano (o su un piatto o su un vassoio), che si accompagnano spesso alla palma, alla lampada  (uno dei simboli evangelici più diffuso e più bello, forse derivato dall’arte sepolcrale)
SantaluciaE per questo motivo che l’iconografia, già a partire dal sec. XIV, si fa interprete e divulgatrice di questa leggenda,raffigurando la santa con simboli specifici che prima dell’età moderna sono mancati riferimenti ai suoi dati fisiognomici,per cui gli artisti erano soliti ricorrere alla Legenda Aurea di Iacopo da Varazze, che rappresenta il testo di riferimento e la fonte di gran parte dell’iconografia religiosa.

Diventa padrone di: Siracusa, ciechi, oculisti, elettricisti, contro le malattie degli occhi .


Gli atti del martirio di Lucia di Siracusa sono stati rinvenuti in due antiche e diverse redazioni: l’una in lingua greca il cui testo più antico risale al sec. V ;
l’altra, in lingua latina, riconducibile alla fine del sec. V che pare essere una traduzione di quella greca .
La più antica redazione greca del martirio contiene una leggenda agiografica edificante, rielaborata da un anonimo due secoli dopo il martirio sulla tradizione orale e dalla quale si cerca ancora di trare dati storici.

Se da una parte ce chi l’ha strenuamente difesa,ammettendo sia la storicità del martirio sia la legittimità del culto; da l’altra parte ci sono quelli chi l’ha del tutto biasimata, reputando la narrazione una pura escogitazione fantasiosa dell’agiografo e con assenza di ogni cura per l’esattezza storica.

Il martirio incomincia con la visita di Lucia (orfana di padre, appartenente ad una ricca famiglia di Siracusa) assieme alla madre Eutichia, al sepolcro di Agata a Catania, per supplicare la guarigione dalla malattia da cui era affetta la madre: un inarrestabile flusso di sangue . Lucia, quindi, incita la madre ad avvicinarsi al sepolcro di Agata e a toccarlo con “assoluta fede “e “cieca fiducia” nella guarigione miracolosa che la vergine martire era capace di dare . Lucia, a questo punto, è presa da un profondo sonno che la conduce ad una visione onirica nel corso della quale le appare Agata che, mentre la informa dell’avvenuta guarigione della madre le predice pure il suo futuro martirio, che sarà la gloria di Siracusa così come quello di Agata era stato la gloria di Catania.

Lucia comunica alla madre la sua decisione vocazionale: consacrarsi a Cristo! A tale fine le chiede pure di potere disporre del proprio patrimonio per devolverlo in beneficenza.(era stata promessa in sposa ad un pagano).Tuttavia, proprio durante tale viaggio di ritorno, Lucia riesce, con le sue insistenze, a convincere la madre, la quale finalmente le da il consenso di devolvere il patrimonio paterno in beneficenza, cosa che la vergine avvia appena arrivata a Siracusa.

Però, la notizia dell’alienazione dei beni paterni arriva subito a conoscenza del promesso sposo della vergine, che se ne accerta proprio con Eutichia alla quale chiede anche i motivi di tale imprevista quanto improvvisa vendita patrimoniale. La donna gli fa
credere che la decisione era legata ad un investimento alquanto redditizio,  e tale da spingerlo a collaborare alla vendita patrimoniale di Lucia.
In seguito il fidanzato di Lucia, forse esacerbato dai continui rinvii del matrimonio, decide
di denunciare al governatore Pascasio la scelta cristiana (erano in vigore i decreti di persecuzione dei cristiani emanati dall’Imperatore Diocleziano) della promessa sposa.Dopo un interrogatorio la vergine riesce a controbattere con la forza e la sicurezza di chi è ispirato da Cristo, il governatore Pascasio le infligge la pena della prostituzione . Sottoponendola a  una sorta di esorcismo di allontanare “lo Spirito maligno “.
La vergine, gli dice che, la sua mente non cederà ma il corpo sottoposto a torture forse andrà contro alla sua mente ,  ma ella resterà comunque casta, pura e incontaminata nello spirito e nella mente.
A questo punto si assiste ad un prodigioso evento: la vergine diventa inamovibile e salda sicché, nessun tentativo riesce a trasportarla a cedere  , nemmeno i maghi appositamente convocati dallo spietato Pascasio.
Esasperato da tale straordinario evento, il governatore ordina che sia bruciata, ma neanche il fuoco riesce a bruciarla . Lucia perisce per spada! Sicché, piegate le ginocchia, la vergine attende il colpo di grazia e, dopo avere profetizzato la caduta di Diocleziano e
Massimiano, è decapitata.

1177413979A Siracusa un’inveterata tradizione popolare vuole che, dopo avere esalato l’ultimo respiro, il corpo di Lucia sia stato devotamente seppellito nello stesso luogo dell martirio. Infatti, secondo la devozione dei suoi concittadini ,il corpo della santa fu riposto in una nicchia scavata nel tufo delle catacombe e usata come sepolcro.
Nell’ 878 Siracusa fu invasa dai Saraceni per cui i cittadini tolsero il suo corpo da lì e lo nascosero in un luogo segreto per sottrarlo alla furia degli invasori. Fu portato poi da Siracusa a Costantinopoli in  “una teca d’argento” .Durante la crociata del 1204 i Veneziani
lo trasportarono nel monastero di San Giorgio a Venezia ed elessero santa Lucia compatrona della città,costruendo una grande chiesa, dove il corpo fu conservato fino al 1863, quando questa fu demolita per la costruzione della stazione (che per questo motivo si chiama VENEZIA SANTA LUCIA)
Dal 1860 Pio IX ha fatto trasferire il corpo nella chiesa dei Santi Geremia e Lucia, costruita con il materiale del presbiterio della demolita chiesa di S. Lucia dove si venera a tutt’oggi . Nel 1955 il patriarca Angelo Roncalli -divenuto poi papa con il nome di Giovanni XXIII-  Santa Lucia
volendo che fosse conferita più importanza alle sacre reliquie di Lucia, suggerì che le spoglie fossero ricoperte di una maschera d’argento.

Il 4 aprile 1867 le spoglie di Lucia furono profanate dai ladri (subito arrestati), che si erano introdotti nella chiesa , per impadronirsi degli ornamenti votivi. Poi nel 1949, alla martire gli fu sottratta la corona (anche in questo caso il ladro fu arrestato) e nel 1969, due ladri infransero il cristallo dell’urna.Il 7 novembre 1981 due aggressori spezzarono l’urna della martire estraendovi il corpo e lasciandovi il capo e la maschera argentea. Anche questa volta il corpo fu recuperato proprio il 12 dicembre del 1981,giorno della vigilia della commemorazione della santa.



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Venice San Marco Basilica stories and reality .

Venice Basilica San Marco stories and reality .

Still in the 982 was called free from servitute to Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae ( “free from the bondage of Holy Mother Church ” )le tre aste portabandiere
At the same time , mausoleum and chapel of the Doge , and therefore with both religious and political function , the sanctuary of St. Mark, as well as the nearby church of his predecessor, Theodore, was demolished ( in 1063 ) to make way for the third and last building , the current basilica.

The new church was consecrated in 1094 , the legend said that in the same year was “miraculously discovered” in a pillar of the basilica, the body of San Marco, which has been hidden during the work , and  forgotten there. ( the altar of Sacrament  )

The architectural form is very close to that of the ancient Basilica of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople ( Greek cross ,surmounted by five domes ; the church was destroyed after the Ottoman conquest ) .

In the hall , the floor plane remain at the level of the square while inside the basilica is
pavimento-basilica-rinoceronteraised up a few steps to create a sort of ascending path , carefully calculated to gradually prepare the visitor for recollection that from the noisy and distracting open space of the square, is about to enter in the temple.

To not to be stolen by the soldiers of Napoleon “the golden ball ” (palla d’oro) was hidden by a courageous Venetian citizen who holds that hidden in his house many months ;and so the only example of Gothic jewelery remained whole and save.


DODECAEDRO STELLATOA stellated dodecahedron is located on the first floor of the main door entrance to the Basilica , under the iconostasis and the choir. For the sages of antiquity , it was the symbol of Venus, the planet ruler of Venice. Represents the event of the Divine in Nature . On the left side of the entrance of the Basilica, on the mosaic floor , there is a rhinoceros of uncertain date , symbol of strength .This would also be a talisman to ward off diseases.

In the central part of the basilica, under the dome , is placed a large square from blue marble once called “The sea” for the depressions that were there , due to the continuous settling of the ground .

On the ground, near the Pala d’Oro ,  there is a stone depicting a ducal horn and an animal, a black hedgehog. Here was buried the heart of the Doge Francesco Erizzo (1566-1646 , doge from 1631 ) . The hedgehog is a symbol of noble family membership . The rest of the remains are buried in the church of St. Martin (Castello).

this chapel , also called the Church of Putti , there is also the tomb of the Doge Andrea Dandolo . The altar is made by a large granite boulder from Tyre, which tradition says was the one from which Christ spoke to the crowds .

Chapel of St. Isidore
located on the bottom of the left side of the basilica. The partition wall covered in marble that separates it from the basilica corresponds to the original outer wall of the ancient church of San Teodoro ( the saint patron of the ancient Venice) .

The Zen Chapel , or the “Madonna della Scarpa”(of the shoe) was built by “order of the Signoria” in 1501 , when,the Cardinal Giambattista Zen died. In the middle of the altar is a statue of the ” Virgin and Cherub ” by Antonio Lombardo. The figure of the virgin keep in hand a golden shoe to commemorate the legend of the shoe offered as a gift to Mary from a poor faithful, who was miraculously transformed into gold.

vecchio si morde la manoAmong the basorilievi of the arches above the entrance there appears an old man who bites his hand: it is the architect of the basilica and the legend said ,that he was relieved of his duties when he said that he would be able to build it even more beautiful .

san marco 080The famous bronze horses were at the beginning gilded of gold and silver , and were brought by the Venetians during the Fourth Crusade from the Hippodrome of Constantinople ;now they are kept in the museum inside the Basilica of San Marco . Outside are copies of the original.



The three pillars-bearer in front of the basilica once beared the flags of the territories of Candia, Cyprus and Morea conquered from Venice.

The two columns coming from the east, in the entrance to the square, in honour of the first saint patron of Venice,Saint Theodor, and the actual patron saint Mark, (which has become such after the legendary theft of the body) originally, were three, but one of them sank during the transfer from Constantinople and can’t be recovered.




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