Desdemona's house on the Grand Canal in VeniceMysteries & Legends
Desdemona's house on the Grand Canal in Venice
Every building on the Grand Canal of Venice hides many stories and legends...
In front of the Basilica della Salute you can admire the beautiful Contarini Fasan Palace, traditionally considered the home of Desdemona, one of the characters in Othello, the play by William Shakespeare. It is a beautiful and small Gothic palace with elegant balconies and fretwork design.
Legend has it that Nicola Contarini lived here, a Venetian heroic leader in the wars against the Turks in the first half of the 1500s who seemed to have the skin so dark as to be called' ‘Moor'.
His story would be a bit 'different from what then narrated by ‘bard': his wife, Palma Querini, who was extremely exasperated by the terrible jealousy of her husband, returned to her family of origin, while he, accused of trying to strangle his wife, was then killed.
Another tradition, however, would identify Shakespeare's Othello with Cristoforo Moro (hence the nickname 'the Moor'). This admiral of the Venetian fleet, in 1515 married a daughter of Donato from Lezze, nicknamed 'White Devil' – hence Desdemona. In 1508, whilst heading for Candia (modern Crete, at the time the domain of the Venice Republic), he lost his wife while travelling in mysterious circumstances.
If you are fond of legends, mysteries and curiosities, our private guided tour of Venice might be the right solution for you! Francesca, the author of our section and our tour guide in Venice, will involve you in a unique and exciting visit, custom built just for you!
Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world
Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...View
Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice
St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...View
Venice: The cell no. 10 in the Pozzi prison of the Doge's Palace in Venice
Unknown places & works
In the 1980s, during the restoration of the so-called ‘Pozzi’ (wells), the underground prison cells in the Doge's Palace, the tenth...View
Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter
Mysteries & Legends
There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...View
Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople
The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...View
Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church
In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...View