Hidden treasures

The Pietro Aretino's tomb in San Luca church in Venice

Big Names
Pietro_Aretino

The Pietro Aretino's tomb in San Luca church in Venice

The little-known church of San Luca in Venice (in St Mark's district) has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries for people who are decidedly not devout: libertines, non believers, journalists, writers, free thinkers. In fact in 1556 Pietro Aretino, a unique character of the Italian and Venetian Renaissance period was buried here.

He was a very versatile writer, famous for his Lascivious Sonnets – which caused great scandal at the time – and  for his manual about a perfect prostitute, but also for his satirical verses, addressed to all the powerful people in Italy, without forgetting the many plays that he wrote for the theatre.

Legend has it that he died in Venice in a extremely particular way: while listening to an obscene story he laughed so hard that he fell backwards and bang his head. He was buried in St Luca church and on his tombstone a singular epitaph was placed: Here lies Aretino, poet Tosco, that every one spoke poorly about, except Christ, who apologized saying: 'I do not know him'!.

At  the end of the 1800s, during the reconstruction works of the floor of the church, this plaque disappeared, but that did not stop the many 'pilgrims', who came looking for some trace of the poet. On either side of the main altar there were canvases from the first half of the 1600s, in which according to tradition, Aretino was portrayed in a crowd: a zealous pastor of the mid 19th century had them removed - they are still missing - so as not to get any more visiting non-believers!

To know many other curious anecdotes about Venice enquire about the availability of Francesca! The author of this fascinating section will reveal the most hidden and unique stories of Venice with a special itinerary tailored for you!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

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

Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day

fave-dei-morti
Local Traditions

As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View