Casanova Escapes from Prison

Italian Casanova

This portrait of an Italian Casanova thanks to Photo Pin.  Here continues the story of how Casanova escaped from his Venice Prison in the Doges Palace when no one had done so in the early 1700’s.

It gives us an idea of who the REAL Casanova really was, not my story’s version of a Casanova cowboy, the book available late this April.

In one of the seven cells in The Leads,  it is dark, with little ventilation in the heat of a Venetian summer with millions of fleas.  During one of his walks in the prison garret, he finds a piece of black marble and an iron bar which he smuggles back to hide in the folds of his arm chair and waits for the chance to sharpen the bar on the stone in between cell mates.

He starts gorging through the floor under his pallet bed directly over the Inquisitor’s Chamber.  He plans to leave during a festival, a time when no one would be in the Chamber.  Just days before the festival, guards come to move him to a larger, more lighted cell with a view in response to his to a friend’s plea that he have a larger cell with a view and better food.

He protests, saying, “But I’m perfectly happy here,” but persuades the guards to bring his armchair to the new cell.  He’s stunned and feeling low.  The only thing he can do is not to think of the future. Hope returns when he hatches another plan upon meeting a priest in the cell next door.  He talks a guard into carrying the bar to the priest under a big bowl of pasta, who then makes a hole and climbs across to Casanova’s cell.

The priest is so afraid of the consequences of being caught, he’ll help Casanova to escape but he’ll stay behind.  The two pry through the roof’s lead plates and make it onto the sloping roof of the Palace where Casanova opens a grate over a dormer window.  They break the window and with a ladder they find on the roof and a bed-sheet rope,  they go down 25 feet below into the room below and rest until morning.

They find a change of clothing, break a small lock on an exit door, sneak through galleries and chambers and go down the stairs where they convince a guard that they have inadvertently been locked inside the Palace after an official function.  Casanova takes off at 6 a.m. in a gondola heading for Paris.

Later, he writes in, The Story of My Life, –Thus did God provide me with what I needed for an escape  which was a wonder if not a miracle.  I admit that I am proud of it; but my pride does not come from my having succeeded, for luck had a good deal to do with that; it comes from my having concluded that the thing could be done and having the courage to  undertake it. 

This is a good premise to remember as you face your world today.