Come with me to Casa Goldoni: Theatre and… many curiosities!
If you are passionate about the work and personal and artistic history of one of the leading Italian theatrical authors or if you wish to visit the least central and crowded places in Venice, why not come with me on a guided tour of the birthplace of the great playwright Carlo Goldoni? This place fills me with a truly unique emotion as an amateur actress and from a family of Venetian origin, i.e. that of interpreting characters and reading verses from the works of Carlo Goldoni.
Located in the heart of the San Polo sestiere, “between the Nomboli and Donna onesta bridges, in the parish of San Tomà”. With its elegant Gothic facade, Ca’ Centani has been the museum-home of Carlo Goldoni since 1953, as well as one of the main libraries specialising in theatre (over 30,000 books) and one of the main international centres dedicated to theatre studies. This house was first owned by the Rizzi family and then rented to the Zentani or Centani family, from whom it takes its name. It is here that, in 1707, the Italian Moliere (as Voltaire described him) was born. A “Venetian between World and Theatre”, as Goldoni described himself… I will take you around this typically Venetian home, with its water door and charming courtyard, characterised by a peculiar example of open stairway leading to the first floor. There, we find a traditional throughsalon, known as portego, onto which the other rooms in the house open, in keeping with the city’s architecture.
Inner rooms of Casa Goldoni
Upon entering the heart of the Museum, I will illustrate the time in which Carlo Goldoni lived, i.e. the 18th century, when Venice could still count on fifteen theatres. Some tools and part of the museum’s furniture will also prove useful to convey the idea of this time.
We will thus enter a real comedy, the fruit of a sort of mosaic made up of scenes from Goldoni’s plays, and stop for a puppet show that will stir the curiosity of children and adults alike.
The great Venetian author composed almost 300 plays, so imagine just how many colourful characters and topics have been created by his fantasy – noblemen and merchants, adventurers and gamblers, polite dames, ladies pretending to be sick, curious women, jealous women, innkeepers and farmers, just to name a few. Between the 1750-60s, Goldoni, famous theatre reformer, became the main protagonist of the Venetian and national theatre. His works, translated into many languages, became true bestsellers in 18th-century Italian publishing.
This guided tour with BestVeniceGuides, will also analyse the language used by Goldoni, the musicality of the Venetian language and on its abundance of proverbs, liveliness and unique characteristics.
An unusual itinerary between theatrical literature and curious tales of Venice in the 18th century, which was just as popular with tourists then as it is today. And, talking about the 18th century, the museum of Ca’ Rezzonico is located not far from Casa Goldoni. A visit will enable us to raise the curtain on another act of our “comedy”!