Italy certainly has a reputation for romance! And who can be called “the world’s greatest lover” if not an Italian ?
Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt (1725 – 1798) was a Venetian adventurer and writer. Famous as a veritable womanizer, his name remains synonymous of art of seduction. His main book Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life) is regarded as an intimate portrait of the manners and European social life in the 18th century.
Giacomo Casanova was born into a family of comedians, with the first 4 children born to Gaetano Casanova and Zaretta Farussi. He was educated in Gozzi and later studied civil law, canon law, philosophy and science, showing great intellectual ability. In 1746 he moved with his mother to Rome to enter the service of Cardinal Acquaviva, adopting the friar condition after being expelled by their affairs. Giacomo Casanova begins a series of trips that take him to Corfu, then to Constantinople (Istanbul) and finally returned to Venice, where he earned a living for a time as a violinist. Tired of the profession of musician, offered to be a doctor of Matteo Bragadin, a Venetian patrician and succeeded to recover him, so he got a large sum of money and began to dabble in magic and the Kabbalah. These activities came to the attention of the Inquisition , so Giacomo Casanova had to flee, traveling between 1749 and 1752 in Italy and France. In 1753 he returned to Venice and is a participated in a scandal, being arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, escaped with a monk he met in prison and exiled for several months. While in Paris (France), Giacomo Casanova met Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour and and had opportunity to work in the French state lottery in 1757, but later is accused of fraud and had to flee again. Back in Paris, and under the protection of the Count of Waldstein, Giacomo Casanova was devoted to the writing of his works, with “Story of My Life” (1786), describing his amorous adventures, travel and work, those the most remembered.
View on his philosophy:
For Casanova, as well as his contemporary sybarites of the upper class, love and sex tended to be casual and not endowed with the often repeated, he would discover an attractive woman in trouble with a brutish or jealous lover (Act I); he would ameliorate her difficulty (Act II); she would show her gratitude; he would seduce her; a short exciting affair would ensue (Act III); feeling a loss of ardor or boredom setting in, he would plead his unworthiness and arrange for her marriage or pairing with a worthy man, then exit the scene (Act IV).As William Bolitho points out in Twelve Against the Gods, the secret of Casanova’s success with women “had nothing more esoteric in it than [offering] what every woman who respects herself must demand: all that he had, all that he was, with (to set off the lack of legality) the dazzling attraction of the lump sum over what is more regularly doled out in a lifetime of installments.he seriousness characteristic of the Romanticism of the 19th century. Flirtations, bedroom games, and short-term liaisons were common among nobles who married for social connections rather than love. For Casanova, it was an open field of sexual opportunities.
Although multi-faceted and complex, Casanova’s personality was dominated by his sensual urges: “Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life; I never found any occupation more important. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite of mine, I have always loved it and done all that I could to make myself loved by it.
Casanova’s ideal liaison had elements beyond sex, including complicated plots, heroes and villains, and gallant outcomes. In a pattern