The Doge’s Palace: Secrets, Torture, and Intrigue with Sara Grinzato

The Doge’s Palace: Secrets, Torture, and Intrigue with Sara Grinzato


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Art Historian Sara Grinzato will accompany you into the “secret” rooms of the Doge’s Palace, select areas of this important site that are not always open to the public. Some of these spaces were simply offices used for government administration and management, but we will also visit rooms used for imprisonment and torture. We will explore this inner world and bring to life the ancient archives, meaningful paintings, first-person accounts of interrogations at candlelight, and tales of epic escapes!

The seminar starts with a look at the work of the Chancellery, the main bureaucratic body of historic Venice. We will use primary source evidence of the archives produced by the Serenissima to inform our conversation about how the government worked at that time. Then, we will focus on the justice system, specifically the activity of the State Inquisitors. We will look at some examples of trials and the role of torture in the judicial process. We will also learn about Giacomo Casanova’s infamous escape from prison and decide if we can trust the integrity of the romantic hero’s narration of these events.

Led by an expert on Venetian art and culture, Sara Grinzato, this seminar will capture the attention of history lovers. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with knowledge of the functioning of the Venetian Republic and its court systems and with a more complete idea of the well-known case of Giacomo Casanova’s encounters with the law.

For those interested in a more introductory exploration of the Doge's Palace, join Sara's Venice: The Doge's Palace seminar.

Sara Grinzato is a professional art historian, conservator and expert in the Venetian art. She is active as an independent scholar, researching on the arts of Venice from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.-.B.
Interesting Tour of a Secret Part of the Doge's Palace

At a good pace and using ample photos of old documents, current pictures, and relevant diagrams, Sara discussed little-known information about the Palace of Justice. Explanation of the function of Chancelleries and the Council of Ten with a tour of the rooms was enlightening. On the darker side, a discussion of the State Inquisition Room and Chamber of Torture was frightening! The closing with the story of Giacomo Casanova and his escape from the Prison House in 1756 was fascinating. A tour of the cells and over the Bridge of Sighs added to this medieval drama. I appreciated the inclusion of some of the art (ceiling views and paintings) of the Palace. As a speaker, Sara was animated and interesting. Unfortunately, sometimes the picture and her speaking was frozen but she tried to address the missing segments.

T
T.
Review

Great conversation on an aspect of Venetian history that I did not know much about prior to this lecture. Nice connection to other lectures on Venice

M
M.
Understanding the Doge's Palace

Sara was very clear in her explanations. I knew very little about all of the intrigue and secrets that were a part of palace life. Sara kept my interest throughout there presentation. I look forward to seeing this places in person, once again.

M
M.H.
Secrets of the Doge's Palace

It was very interesting and well presented.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.-.B.
Interesting Tour of a Secret Part of the Doge's Palace

At a good pace and using ample photos of old documents, current pictures, and relevant diagrams, Sara discussed little-known information about the Palace of Justice. Explanation of the function of Chancelleries and the Council of Ten with a tour of the rooms was enlightening. On the darker side, a discussion of the State Inquisition Room and Chamber of Torture was frightening! The closing with the story of Giacomo Casanova and his escape from the Prison House in 1756 was fascinating. A tour of the cells and over the Bridge of Sighs added to this medieval drama. I appreciated the inclusion of some of the art (ceiling views and paintings) of the Palace. As a speaker, Sara was animated and interesting. Unfortunately, sometimes the picture and her speaking was frozen but she tried to address the missing segments.

T
T.
Review

Great conversation on an aspect of Venetian history that I did not know much about prior to this lecture. Nice connection to other lectures on Venice

M
M.
Understanding the Doge's Palace

Sara was very clear in her explanations. I knew very little about all of the intrigue and secrets that were a part of palace life. Sara kept my interest throughout there presentation. I look forward to seeing this places in person, once again.

M
M.H.
Secrets of the Doge's Palace

It was very interesting and well presented.