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

Treviso: Villa Condulmer in Mogliano Veneto and Giuseppe Verdi

villa-condulmer
Big Names

Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century... Even those who are not Opera experts recognise the arias of h...

View

Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

teatro-anatomico-padova
Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...

View

Venice: The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

presepe-sommerso
Unknown places & works

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbo...

View

Venice: The chapel of Saint Lucia in the Church of St. Jeremiah in Venice

s-geremia-venezia
Historical Curiosities

In many parts of the world, December 13th, the shortest day of the year, is dedicated to the celebration of the feast of Saint Lucia. H...

View

Top posts

Vicenza: The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

olimpico-scenografia
Historical Curiosities

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influence...

View

Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

castello-monselice
Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...

View

Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Otello
Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...

View

Venice: The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

giardino-eden-venezia
Unknown places & works

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the G...

View