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!
Venice: Prospero Alpini and the discovery of coffee in Europe
Everyone knows about coffee, the energizing and hearty drink consumed by millions of people every day! We Italians are great coffee dri...View
Venice: The bridge of Fists in the Dorsoduro district
The Bridge of Fists, located in the Dorsoduro district, owes its name to an ancient tradition of Venice: the War of Fists. The inhabita...View
Venice: The red stone of the 'Sotoportego de la peste'
Mysteries & Legends
Walking around Venice along the narrow streets and across the squares, you could happen to notice strange slabs on the pavement... whic...View
Treviso: Mr. Carnevale’s confetti factory in Paese
We all know what confetti is! It is little pieces of colored paper that are thrown into the air during the course of carnival celebrati...View
Padua: The biodiversity garden in the Padua Botanical Garden
Unknown places & works
Founded in 1545, the Botanical Garden of Padua is the oldest botanical garden in the world to be still in its original location; it cov...View
Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal
Mysteries & Legends
One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...View
Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona
One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...View