Giacomo Casanova was the Venetian boy whose handsome good looks, roguish charm and unbridled self esteem saw him seduce, swindle and scandalise the upper echelons of 18th century European society. Casanova himself was quoted in his memoir as saying: “I was born for the sex opposite to mine, I have always loved it and done all that I could to make myself loved by it”. But his life of infamy is only known to people in the 21st century because of his boredom in later life when he decided to write his memoirs, it it was not for this he probably would have been long forgotten in the annals of history. At the age of 21 a good deed paid off very handsomely for Casanova when he helped save the life of a rich Venetian nobleman called Don Matteo Bragadin who proceeded to shower the grateful young man with wealth substantial enough to adopt a playboy aristocratic lifestyle. This gave him the platform where he got his first taste of high society and he indulged whole heartedly in the pleasures of the flesh with an abundance of princesses, actresses and leading ladies of his day who all found him irresistible. Pleasure was his business whilst gambling and other schemes were his way of funding it. In Paris he introduced the first State lottery which earned him a small fortune which he duly squandered on wine, women and wandering around Europe. Quoting Casanova from his memoir he said of his life style: “Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life”. Indeed it was and it got him into a lot of trouble also as he fought duels with rival lovers and suffered an imprisonment in the Doge's Palace for his sins according to his Venetian inquisitors. After 15 months of incarceration he and a fellow jail breaker became the only prisoners ever to escape from the clutches of the Doge's prison, but with it came a price as he had to exile himself for 18 years from Venice as a result. The bordello's of Rome, Paris, Vienna and London all beckoned and eased the burden of being away from his watery home. He was not only an inveterate seducer but an intellectual who held his own in conversations with the likes of Lorenzo Da Ponte, Voltaire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Benjamin Franklin. As you can imagine he was never short of words and he was good for a one liner also, so here is my compilation of 15 of the best Giacomo Casanova quotes
- Mini Bio
- Name: Giacomo Girolamo Casanova
- Born: 2nd April 1725, Venice, Republic of Venice
- Died: 4th June 1798, Dux, Bohemia, Habsburg Monarchy, Holy Roman Empire
- Alma mater: University of Padua
- Occupation: Author, philanderer and spy
- Height: 6' 1½" (1.87 m)
- Aliases: He was also known as Chevalier de Seingalt and Count de Farussi
- Duels: He fought and survived many duels including against the Polish nobleman Colonel Franciszek Ksawery Branicki whom he fought in 1766 over the charms of an Italian actress, both men were wounded with Casanova nearly losing his left hand when doctors recommended amputation which he refused
- Legacy: The term "Casanova" has become synonymous with promiscuity and is often now associated with being a dishonourable lover who is morally reprehensible
- Books: The "Story of My Life" was his autobiography
- Trivia: Casanova together with his fellow prisoner Father Balbi were the only prisoners ever to escape from the prison inside the Venetian Doge's Palace
- Quotes about Giacomo Casanova: Fashion designer Pierre Cardin said of him: “Casanova was a great writer, a great traveler, a great rebel, a great provocateur, I have always admired his subversive spirit”
- Tom Vitelli, a leading American Casanovist said of his autobiography: “His goal was to create an honest portrait of the human condition. His honesty is unsparing, especially about his loss of powers as he ages”
- The curator of his autobiographical original manuscript Corinne Le Bitouzé was quoted as saying about his considerate side: “He tried to find husbands for his former lovers, to provide them with income and protection"
"Love is three quarters curiosity"
"You will be amused when you see that I have more than once deceived without the slightest qualm of conscience, both knaves and fools"
"There is no honest woman with an uncorrupted heart whom a man is not sure of conquering by dint of gratitude"
"We avenge intelligence when we deceive a fool, and ... deceiving a fool is an exploit worthy of an intelligent man"
"Be the flame, not the moth"
"The sweetest pleasures are those which are hardest to be won"
"The same principle that forbids me to lie does not allow me to tell the truth"
"Matrimony is the grave of love"
"There is no such thing as destiny. We ourselves shape our lives"
"Those who do not love life do not deserve it"
"Forgiveness is the offspring of a noble heart, of a generous mind, whilst forgetfulness is only the result of a weak memory"
"It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless"
"Beauty without wit offers nothing but the enjoyment of its material charms"
"Cheating is a sin, but honest cunning is simply prudence. It is a virtue"
"To kiss is an attempt to absorb the essence of the other person"
Great quotes are not where you find great wisdom. It's where you share this knowledge that counts