Giacomo Casanova's cell

The Palace prisons were famous for being difficult to escape. However, someone did manage to demonstrate to the contrary. "As the day dawned on 26 July 1755, as the third bell rang, Messer Grande entered and told me he had to put me up in the Piombi".

These are the words of Giacomo Casanova, romantic hero and famous adventurer whose gestures were talked about all over the world and whose fame is inextricably linked to his legendary escape from the Venice Piombi.

Casanova was a man with special gifts: a legendary seducer, but also amateur scholar, actor and for a short period even abbot. When they put him in the Piombi he was twenty-nine and had already travelled the world. But it was only after his escape that his destiny turned to fame and riches.

His memoirs entitled "The story of my escape from the Piombi" were printed in 1788 and soon became the equivalent of a modern best-seller.

Casanova left the Piombi on the night between 31 October and 1 November 1756. Digging up the wooden planks with a makeshift tool he climbed out of his cell onto the roof and then down into an attic. Crossing the whole palace he reached the golden staircase where he was seen by a guard who mistook him for a politician who’d been locked in and let him out.

A legend says he stopped for a coffee in San Marco square before fleeing by sea on a gondola.