Giacomo Casanova and Palazzo Bragadin in VeniceBig Names
Giacomo Casanova and Palazzo Bragadin in Venice
If you are on Giacomo Casanova's trail in Venice, you surely cannot miss a visit to Palazzo Bragadin Carabba in Campo Santa Marina, Sestiere Castello.
Here lived Senator Matteo Bragadin. His relationship with Casanova started after a wedding ball in Palazzo Soranzo in San Polo, as the nobleman had a stroke when coming home on a gondola and was promptly rescued by young Casanova. The Senator thought he was saved by Casanova's providential intervention and that he owed him his life. He then welcomed him in his family's palace. In his autobiography, Casanova writes he told the senator and two of his friends he could read the future through Kabbalah.
The relationship between Casanova and the three noblemen caused a scandal among the right-minded people, who blamed him for taking advantage of Bragadin's good faith through magical practices. There are still many riferte (investigations and reports from spies of the State Inquisition) proving how judges followed this case, which was probably one of the reasons that led to Casanova's arrest and imprisonment.
It was here that on October 31st 1756 Casanova found shelter after his escape from ‘i Piombi', the terrible prison in Palazzo Ducale. It was there Bragadin provided him with money and documents to leave Venice safely.
The palace dates back to 1342. It was commissioned by the Bragadins, a noble family of Dalmatians origins. Marcantonio Bragadin, the heroic defender of Famagosta, belonged to that family. Seen from Ponte del Teatro, the theater bridge, the palace shows a beautiful four-light window with family crest and marble heads. The ashlared portal is by Michele Sanmicheli (1542). The palace was sold to the Carabba family in 1807. Today it serves as a hotel.
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