The Door To Pleasure

Venice, the only Italian Venice I know, never stops to surprise me. Recently, I visited Giacomo Casanova’s exhibition at the museum in San Francisco. One of the rooms was set up as the “Putta House” (the prostitution house), the only one allowed by law in the Carampane district, often frequented by Casanova. The background wall in the exhibition showed how the lady of the night incited the trade by flashing their breasts from the brothel’s windows that overlooked the “Ponte delle Tette” (the bridge of tits).

The trade of selling sex was a common work in the Republic of Venice in the 16th Century, a city frequented by rich merchants, kings, gamblers, Italian and foreign nobles, art dealers, and a lot of the upper crust of society. The government made this kind of work legal and collected taxes from the women, but they weren’t free to live as they pleased. The government, with a decree, decided on the life of the brothel, limiting the area, time and days of operations, even dictated what the women had to wear such as a yellow scarf to distinguish themselves from respectable women. Although they were allowed to sell themselves legally, they were often scrutinized by the Inquisition for their licentious customs.

Inside a “Putta” House – Casanova Exhibition

The society divided them in two categories:
* the low-rank courtesans “cortigiane di lume” (courtesans of the light), poor and inexpensive;
* the high-rank courtesans “cortigiane oneste” (honest courtesans), very stylish and educated that could pass for respectable women regardless of their sins.

The high-ranking women were social climbers, depending on “la creme de la creme” of the Venetian society, and on influential lovers to accumulate wealth. Among these honest courtesans, Veronica Franco, became well known on the international scene. She was beautiful, educated, classy and was the subject of Tintoretto’s paintings. In the poetries she wrote, she encouraged women to stand up for themselves.

Inside of “Putta” House – Casanova Exhibition

Does this last view look real? Yes, it does but it’s not. It’s a tridimensional painting I brought from Venice.

This is my entry for Thursday Door Challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robertawrites235681907
    Apr 04, 2022 @ 05:12:43

    Hi Valentina, this is a great post. I learned a lot and enjoyed your pictures very much.



  2. dgkaye
    Apr 04, 2022 @ 00:08:39

    Loved the history of Venetian brothels, and gorgeous artwork. ❤



  3. Dan Antion
    Mar 31, 2022 @ 23:53:50

    Thanks for the interesting explanation of the exhibit. Determining what is real and what is not real is getting to be a major issue on the internet. In any case, I like the stone-surrounded wooden arched door in the lower image. Thanks for joining us today.



  4. sustainabilitea
    Mar 31, 2022 @ 23:51:51

    That painting is really great, Valentina, and your post is exactly what I expected from the title…although I thought maybe it would be something entirely different. 🙂




    • Valentina
      Apr 01, 2022 @ 00:36:10

      Well, I thought beyond those doors, there were real women often forgotten, with the same problems, aspiration, dreams and pains of all the other women. A bit of history of them wouldn’t hurt.

      Liked by 1 person


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