Casa di Goldoni

Casa di Goldoni (24)

In his memoirs, an octogenarian Carlo Goldoni recalled that he had been born, “in a beautiful house situated between the Nomboli and Donna Onesta bridges, on the corner of Calle de la Ca’Centanni, in the parish of San Tommaso”. The playwright, who lived his last years in Paris, was born in 1707 in this elegant palace known as Ca’Centanni. The building dates back to the 15th century and is a clear example of Venetian Gothic.

The most outstanding elements of Ca’Centanni are the façade facing the canal, on which you can see the large windows with arcades, and the entrance in Calle dei Nomboli, which leads to a beautiful courtyard overlooked by a majestic flight of stairs, the balustrade of which is formed of small columns made from Istrian stone.

The building, which had previously been the home of the Rizzo and Centanni families, was established as the residence of the brilliant playwright’s family in his grandfather’s time, the Notary Public of Modena, Carlo Alessandro Goldoni, and continued to be so until 1719.

In 1914, the scholar of the 18th century, Aldo Ravà, Count Piero Foscari and the commendatore Antonio Pellegrini joined forces and bought the building from Countess Ida Manassero Camozzo. Given that Goldoni, author of more than 250 plays based in the majority on the characters of the Commedia dell’Arte, had been born here, the initial idea was to turn the old palace into a museum dedicated to the writer and to the history of the theatre in Italy.

However, the outbreak of the First World War stopped the progress of the project. In 1931, the home was donated to the council so that it could be restored with the aim of fulfilling the idea of Foscari, Pellegrini and Camozzo, but this time the Second World War put a halt to the initiative. We had to wait until 1953 to see Ca’Centanni open to the public as Casa di Goldoni.

Today the house dedicates part of the exhibition to the great author who revolutionised the Commedia dell’Arte thanks to works such as The Innkeeper or Servant of Two Masters. However, the centre has specialised mainly in study and research, with special emphasis on Venetian theatre. In fact, it possesses a large archive and library.

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