The son of Venetian celebrities, Giovanni Giacomo Casanova directed to enter priesthood as a young man, studying in the Seminary of St. Cyprian in Padua. Not long after registering in the institution, he was expelled for his bawdy behaviour, so he returned to Venice, where he served a Roman Catholic cardinal in Rome a place from which he was promptly fired amid scandal. In October of 1756, nevertheless, he managed to escape and fled to Paris. There, a sensationalized accounts of his exploits appeared as a pamphlet, and Casanova was immediately well-known.
In this time, Casanova started traveling widely, using his bottomless appeal and gaming winnings to support himself financially. Those resources, however, did not continue long. In a attempt to escape his growing amount of lenders, Casanova fleed from Paris in 1760, traveling as just “Chevalier de Seingalt.” He kept going, from Germany to Switzerland, to southern France, Florence and Rome. He was eventually permitted to go back to Venice in the early 1770s, and acted as a secret agent for the Venetian inquisitors of state from 1774 to 1782.
From 1785 to 1798, Casanova lived in Bohemia, employed as a librarian in the chateau of Dux. Almost forgotten, he ensured his heritage will be recalled by writing an autobiography, afterwards renamed Histoire de Ma Vie. Today, the novel is highly acclaimed because of its portrait of the Enlightenment society in continental Europe, but less well-known because of its biographical truth. The novel proved to be a pictorial appearance at Casanova’s meetings with luminaries of his time, including Pope Clement XIII, Voltaire, Rousseau and Mozart, and detailed Casanova’s apparently never-ending amorous exploits. It’s for these exploits that Casanova is mainly remembered, and his name has since been interchangeable with “playboy” and “womanizer.”