Who Do You Think You Are? Casanova?

Portrait of Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

Portrait of Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since writing about Casanova for the post “fascinating Fact Anyone” on the 27th June, I’ve been wondering who Casanova was.


During Casanova’s time Venice was the place to be, it was the pleasure capital of europe. Not only were social vices accepted there was the famed carnival, gambling houses and beautiful courtesans, all of which caught Casanova’s eye and earned him the reputation we all know of today. But who exactly was Casanova?

Giacomo Casanova was his actual name and he was born on the 02nd April 1725 in Venice Italy. Casanova was the eldest of six children born to actress Zanetta Farussi and dancer and actor Gaetano Giuseppe Casanova.

Giacomo Casanova didn’t have a great childhood he was brought up mostly by his grandmother. At the age of eight Casanova’s father died and he was sent away to a boarding house on the mainland in Padua. Casanova hated the boarding house and soon went to live with his primary instructor Abbe Gozzi.

Casanova was very clever student and at the age of seventeen he graduated from university with a law degree, unfortunately this didn’t mean Casanova’s career was set. Casanova wanted to enter the priesthood so he enrolled at Seminary of St. Cyprian in Padua, soon after starting however Casanova was expelled. Casanova went on to try working as a violinist, a mason, magician, general occultist, non of which were very successful.

In 1755 Casanova was sent to prison for five years for owning forbidden books and for practicing magic. However in 1756 Casanova managed to escape to Paris.

In Paris Casanova became very wealthy and successful by helping to introduce the first state lottery. It was with his new found wealth that Casanova was able to mix in prominent circles where he claimed himself to be an alchemist, making him self very popular with the likes of Madame de Pompadour. It was around this time that Giacomo Casanova was sent on his first spying mission by De Bernis and later by Venetian inquisitors.

By 1885 Casanova had exhausted all his fortune and was working in Bohemia as a librarian, it was there he wrote his famed autobiography.

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