Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was an Italian adventurer, writer and womanizer. Born on April 2, 1725 in Venice, he began a career as a cleric because his guardian, his grandmother, wished it. He studied theology and law in Padua. After he finished his studies, Casanova went to Rome and met Pope Benedict XIV, who learned to value him because of his conviviality. However, a love affair forced Casanova to leave Rome. Casanova returned to Venice and became a petty officer. Even so, blasphemous statements and amorous adventures with two nuns gave him a sentence of five years’ imprisonment in 1755.
Fifteen months later came Casanova’s legendary escape from the lead chambers in Venice. Forced into exile, Casanova led from now on an even more nomadic, varied life that would give him material for his stories. He gave himself the title "Chevalier de Seingalt" and became a beloved guest and companion at the most elegant courts in Europe. The metropolises Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin and St. Petersburg were Casanova’s stopping points, among others, after 1757. He also met famous contemporaries such as Voltaire, Louis XV, Friedrich the Great, Catherine the Great and Pope Clement XIII. Gambling debts and erotic intrigues however forced Casanova to constantly and quickly change his location.
Casanova’s relationship to the city of his birth, Venice, remained strained. After he was permitted to return in 1772, he found employment first as a theater director and a Venetian secret agent. However, tensions with the censorship board caused Casanova’s permanent departure from Venice.
In 1785, Casanova finally settled down. As librarian for the Bohemian Count Waldstein, Casanova was able to devote himself above all to writing down the story of his eventful life at Castle Duchcov, beginning in 1790. His memoirs became a classic of erotic literature.
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova died in Duchcov on June 4, 1798.
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