A pretty enough little place – especially since it also has a rather splendid frontage looking onto the Grand Canal...
But it has another reputed significance in that, legend has it, this is was the house of Brabantio, the father of Desdemona in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice and, as such, has been fancifully imagined by various artists...
Brabantio's house is the location for the anger-and-outrage-filled opening scene of the play, in which Roderigo and Iago rouse the Senator with the shocking news that his daughter has eloped with Othello...
|RODERIGO||What, ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!|
|IAGO||Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!|
|Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!|
|BRABANTIO appears above, at a window.|
|BRABANTIO||What is the reason of this terrible summons?|
|What is the matter there?|
|RODERIGO||Signior, is all your family within?|
|IAGO||Are your doors lock'd?|
|BRABANTIO||Why, wherefore ask you this?|
|IAGO||'Zounds, sir, you're robb'd; for shame, put on|
|Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;|
|Even now, now, very now, an old black ram|
|Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise;|
|Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,|
|Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:|
|Arise, I say.|
Apart from which, the present look of the Palazzo Contarini-Fasan doesn't exactly suggest that it would make for very convenient conversations via upstairs windows.
However, it is a romantic thought that this famously tragic tale of love, betrayal, jealousy, suspicion and revenge, shot through (like The Merchant of Venice) with racial prejudice had its origins not a stone's throw from where I am writing this...