Venice at the time of the Venetian Republic was known as the most libertine city in the world. The pleasure-seeking atmosphere breathed during the many festivals celebrated throughout the year to capture the imagination of all those who were forced to live moralistic impositions of their governments. Many tourists came to town with the intention of spending a vacation full of fun and lust.
Most famous Courtesan
Remains in history the most famous courtesans venice, Veronica Franco that, in the sixteenth century, was introduced to the future King Henry III° of France. It is said that, the well educated and wealthy lady, was brought onto a silver tray completely naked in front of the future king who was completely overwhelmed by her beauty and elegance.
Veronica Franco, progeny a rich family, was born in Venice around 1546. She was given in marriage to a very young physician. It seems that her mother acted as matron (a term used to distinguish a person who managed the work of courtesan). Veronica, remains the most famous Venetian courtesan for her ability to maintain relationships with political and economic power leading representatives in the city. In addition to these skills, she remains in history for her culture; she wrote poetry and loved art.
Her house was frequented by poets and writers, and very often concerts were performed by the most famous musicians of the time. Tintoretto, even made her a portrait. Thanks to her fame, she was also known abroad. At one point in her life, she decided to leave her profession to set up the “Casa del Soccorso” located at the Carmini. The house accepted all the courtesans venice who wanted to give up with this job or were no longer able to do it. In a certain way, she tried to introduce them into a normal life. The beautiful and well educated Veronica, died in 1591 at the age of 45 years.
The ancient craft of Courtesans Venice
The ancient profession of the courtesans venice was tolerated by Serenissima (in 1500 in a document of the Serenissima Government are surveyed 12.000) and, very often, even supported – considering the enormous influx of businessmen or just tourists who came to town throughout the year. For a short period of time, a guide listing the places and prices of services was put into circulation. Courtesans, however, were to adhere to strict regulations as not to frequent taverns and not meandering on Saturdays. A notice of 1360, forced them to live in a suburb of San Matteo of Rialto called “Castelletto” where they could stroll but not going out the premises. After a certain time, if caught outside the Castelletto, there were fine and punished with ten lashes.
The most wealthy courtesans, were able to ignore this order and went to live in other areas of the city. Sometimes, they even managed to buy their own buildings where they lead a luxurious life of entertainment and fun. They dealt with wealthy men and were protected and respected. The lavish life of the Venetian trader of the time, fully reflected the lifestyle of these women.