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

Padua: The Castle of Catajo

catajo
Historical Curiosities

Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just...

View

Venice: Mozart in Venice

mozart
Big Names

There is no doubt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Vienna 1791) is one of the greatest musicians of all time... It is not su...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Treviso: Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso

casa-dei-carraresi-treviso
Historical Curiosities

One of the most famous places of the city of Treviso is the so-called Casa dei Carraresi, which takes its name from the noble family of...

View

Vicenza: The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

santa-corona
Unknown places & works

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the preci...

View

Venice: The Ghost of the Biennale Gardens in Venice

Statua_zolli
Mysteries & Legends

At the entrance of the Biennale Gardens in Venice is the statue of the Resurgence hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Few notice, however, that be...

View