Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the SerenissimaBig Names
Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima
Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Veronica Franco. Born in Venice in 1546, the daughter of Paola Fracassa, a courtesan herself, she is remembered as a beautiful and highly educated woman, a fine poet with a strong character that allowed her to stand and win a court case where she was accused of practicing witchery.
Since being a child, her mother trained her to carry out this profession but Veronica married at the age of 16 with a doctor, but later she was unfaithful to him with a merchant from Dubrovnik and she had a child from him. Only after separating from her husband, she became a courtesan in order to sustain herself.
As an 'honest courtesan', which meant she was highly educated, she met and hung out with many important people of her time: her short affair with King Henry III of France was well known, whom she met in Venice on the occasion of his visit to the city. Not only did Veronica know how to read and write perfectly, something that was not to be taken for granted for women at the time, but she charmed the most cultured and famous men of the Serenissima with her remarkable intellectual gifts. Thanks to her skills as a poet, she even managed to be accepted in one of the most well-known literary circles in Venice and to have her poems published in two volumes, 'Terze Rime' and 'Lettere familiari a diversi’.
She died at the young age of 45, and with no money, having lost all her wealth due to the 1575 plague. She is remembered for the publication of her lyrical works as well as for her commitment to old and destitute courtesans, for whom she had planned to build a house to accommodate them.
If her story has intrigued you, then you should not miss our Gametour 'Veronica Franco' where you will discover, in the company of Veronica Franco herself, the charm of the Cannaregio district. Or, if you are fascinated by these characters who created such a sensation at the time of the Serenissima, we recommend our 'Venice Libertine' tour, during which an expert guide will tell you about the vices, betrayals and extravagant traditions which had Venice as their stage.
Venice, 27th July 2020
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