Hidden treasures

Desdemona's house on the Grand Canal in Venice

Mysteries & Legends
contarini

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!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: What happened on April 11 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saints of the Day are St. Pope Leo I, Pope and St. Bishop Eustorgius of Milan. &nbs...

View

Venice: What happened on April 12 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, the Saints of the Day are St. Bishop Leo and St. Jiulius I, Pope.   - April 12, 117...

View

Venice: What happened on April 10 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, today is St. Saturninus’ Day   - April 10, 1508: angry at the defeat in the battl...

View

Venice: What happened on April 9 in Venice

almanacco-venezia-rubrica
Almanac of Venice

According to the Venetian Liturgical Calendar, today is Sta. Mary of Clopas’ Day   - April 9, 1618: an anonymous letter informs ...

View

Top posts

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...

View

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View