“The notorious gay of the neighborhood” is the appropriate nickname I was given at Arco della Pace where I live in Milan, my ‘husband’ city, which I regularly betray with invigorating sexcapades to New York, my selected, better erected, lover. It was indeed in Manhattan that a friend one day called me a gay man in a woman’s body. I have always considered it an irreverent and funny combo that also applies to my writing register and lifestyle. Free and libertine, I roam in a constant motion towards from horizon to horizon and from lover to lover, not giving a damn with cultivated frivolity of self-righteous and sanctimonious people’s judgments, narrating my eroticomic bed-ventures. I am another Ulysses, an Eros-teller, frivolous jester and fearless traveler on the stage of life nourished by a portentous Lust for Life as the chameleonic Iggy Pop used to sing.
The constant search plays a key role in my Dharma Bum existence, always yearning towards new and uncharted shores. I run like hell from monotony, which in my spirit rhymes with monogamy, savoring each fruitful and forbidden bite the path paves on my plate. I want to share with you my cock-book of delights, vices and slips which today I serve you from Venice, ideal place to get lost in order to find oneself, the cradle of love and eroticism.
It was due to sheer Fatalità – Venetian expression sounding like “Inshallah” yet stripped away of any religious legacy – that in one of my amorous forays in the lagoon I bumped into a delightful small publishing house, Damocle Edizioni, where I discovered the sinful verses of Giorgio Baffo, nicknamed “the poet of orgies” in the Eighteen century. His licentious lyrics, proudly written in Venetian dialect, among which the collection Mona (pussy in Venetian), exhale lust and bliss.
And the libertine adventurer Giacomo Casanova, a true Venetian, who was also a very strenuous advocate of women’s intellect. Because to seriously love women you have to go beyond mere tits & buttocks and respect also their brain.
There is no place on earth more intriguing than Venice, which over the centuries welcomed wanderers, lovers, artists, travelers and writers. In the Sixteenth Century Venice boasted a red-light district located between San Polo and Rialto, where pleasure houses, called postriboli , were installed and animated by seductive courtesans among which stood out Veronica Franco, who belonged to a literary circuit, left us two poetry books and was introduced to the world’s oldest profession by her mother.
In 1421 a doge’s edict forced prostitutes to move in the houses which the Serenissima – the Republic of Venice – had inherited by the Rampani family, where the term Ca’ Rampani and then carampane, aka prostitutes in Venetian, derive from. The doge allowed them to show their luscious merchandise by appearing with their bosom on display on the balconies in order to try to lure men towards them and contain the rampant phenomenon of homosexuality in the lagoon. Evidence of this can still be found today in the toponymy of the area with Ponte delle Tette – the Tits Bridge – standing over the Rio delle Tette, the Tits River, located in front of one of the ancient brothels.
One of my decadent Venetian rituals is to visit one of these inns, which in the past used to offer wine and food to the brothel-goers and which today with the name Antiche Carampane – Old Prostitutes – hosts one of the most lively social table in town, attended by local Casanovas and wannabes, with whom I always share dissolute and witty conversations and where I never get tired of showing my beauties while coquettishly waiting for my next prey. Making love with and in Venice is absolute lust. Let yourself be raptured by its voluptuous calli and by my erotic pills that will make you travel in imagination and in intellect, magic blend to relish the delicacies every wayfarer of life can unearth during this single ride called existence.
I intimately believe I was a courtesan, very much so, in a previous life. Or a female doge of lustful edicts.
BOOK TO READ
The Unfinished Palazzo: Life, Love and Art in Venice. The Stories of Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim
Venice has always welcomed and inspired liberated and larger-than-life artists among which there was a portentously sensual surreal and intriguing woman called La Divina Marchesa aka Luisa Casati Stampa who turned her life and herself into a living work of art. Owner of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which today hosts the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, the Divina Marchesa lived a very eccentric and occultist life at the beginning of the Twentieth-Century. She was notorious for her wild parties, her peculiar attitude towards clothing – she was a muse for Mariano Fortuny’s creations – and ornaments as she used real snakes as embellishments and was seen walking around Piazza San Marco with a real life cheetah on a jewel-studded leash. Among the others, Luisa Casati was an inspiration, and a lover, for D’Annunzio. She became a muse for the art works by Carrà, Giacomo Balla, Giovanni Boldini, Boccioni, Man Ray, Marinetti and Depero, beloved by futurists and avant-garde for her surrealist personality and persona.