15 Casa di Carlo Goldoni

15 Casa di Carlo Goldoni. A museum of Venetian theatrical memorabilia, library and birthplace of the famous playwright Carlo Goldoni.

Located in Palazzo Centani in the San Polo district, it also features a puppet-theatre from Ca’ Grimani ai Servi; formerly part of the Ca’ Rezzonico collection

The archive and library of over 30,000 works, are of significant importance; including theatrical texts, studies and original manuscripts.

  • Theatrical art museum, puppet theatre and specialist library
  • Near Campo San Tomà, just off the Grand Canal in San Polo district
  • Vaporetto stop: San Toma, Line 1 or 2. 10 minutes walk from Rialto or Piazzetta Roma


Carlo Goldoni

       “… because my life itself is a comedy.” – “Mémoires” by Carlo Goldoni.



Architectural Features 

Palazzo Centani (or Centanni,) better known as “Casa di Carlo Goldoni”, has a 15th-century Venetian Gothic architecture, with the facade of three levels and with typical elements of Venetian architecture between the end of the 14th and the early 15th century. It overlooks the Rio de San Tomà; shortly before it flows into the Grand Canal and is near to the Ponte dei Nomboli and the Campo San Toma.

The wide and well-proportioned palace brick facade curves, in order to follow the bend of the narrow canal it overlooks. The dominant element is the lovely quadruple-mullioned window, with its slender columns and inflected arches; corresponding with the main, or noble floor.

Casa di Carlo Goldoni - Courtyard

The ground floor, has typical terracotta flooring and is composed of a porticoed hall towards the water-gate and by a small courtyard with a well. You can study the “Topographical map of Venice” by Ludovico Ughi (1729) and the places where Goldoni lived in the city.

A beautiful fifteenth-century stone exterior staircase, is supported upon progressively enlarging pointed arches; with a handrail in Istrian stone and simple small cylindrical columns, a small lion and a pine-cone. It leads up into the largest room or “portego“; onto which the other rooms of the house open. The library is located on the third floor.


Owned by the Rizzi family, the well inside the courtyard features a hedgehog carved in relief on the family arms). The palace was rented to the Zentani or Centani family; from whom its future name stemmed and also hosted a thriving artistic and literary Academy.

Around the end of the 17th century ,Carlo Goldoni’s paternal grandfather, Carlo Alessandro, a solicitor with origins in Modena, established himself here. The Goldoni family remained in this house, where Carlo was born on 25 February 1707.

In 1914, Aldo Ravà, a noted scholar of 18th century Venice, together with Count Piero Foscari and Commendatore Antonio Pellegrini; bought the palazzo from its owner, Contessa Ida Manassero Camozzo. Their idea, was to use it to house a museum; dedicated to the great playwright and to the history of Italian theatre.

The project came to nothing, because of the outbreak of war and then in 1931; Ca’ Centani was bequeathed to the Venice Municipality. In 1953, after restoration, it became the Goldoni Museum and centre for theatre studies.


Casa di Carlo Goldoni – Biography


……  “I was born in Venice, in1707, in a large and beautiful house situated between the Nomboli and Donna Onesta bridges, on the corner of Calle de Ca’ Centanni, in the parish of San Tomà” – “Mémoires” by Carlo Goldoni.

Carlo Goldoni was born in Venice on the 25th February 1707, at Ca’ Centani.

Endowed with uncommon wits as a child, he expressed his passion for the theatre very early; playing intently with toy puppet theatres and on turning eight, composing his first theatrical plot. His family affairs led him to travel frequently around Italy.

Following various mishaps with tutors and schools, he finally achieved a law degree in Padua, in 1731. He became an assistant-clerk and lawyer and then a consul of Genoa in Venice.

None of these professions appealed to him, as his thoughts and time; were always on his yearning for the theatre. He avidly read Italian and foreign playwrights, composing pieces in various genres (librettos for musical operas, tragicomedies, dramas, tragedies, satires and poetry).

Carlo Goldoni established direct contact with the theatre world, knowing impresarios, authors, organisers, actors and lovers, handmaids and mask-makers.

From 1734 to 1743, he was in the service of the Grimani’s; at the Theatre of San Samuele. In 1747, he met the theatre impresario Gerolamo Medebach; signing a contract for the Theatre at Sant’Angelo.

At this point, he embarked on his great reformation of Italian theatre. His comedies would no longer be tangled mannerisms, but true and ‘modern’ theatre texts; entirely committed to paper, with the various roles defined and assigned, line after line. No more ribaldry and weird plots, no more repertoire cues, very few or no masks. Enlightened and bourgeois, modern theatre was born.

In 1750, Goldoni engaged in a sort of reckless challenge, composing 16 new plays in a single season; albeit at the cost of a severe depression. Goldoni managed his task and among the new plays were also some masterpieces like “La bottega del caffè” (The Coffee Shop), “La famiglia dell’antiquario” (The Antiquarian’s Family) and “Il Bugiardo” (The Liar).

Over the following decade, fundamental plays such as “Il Campiello” (The Little Square), “La locandiera” (The Mistress of the Inn), “I Rusteghi” (The Boors), “Sior Todero Brontolon” (Grumpy Mr. Todero) and “Le baruffe chiozzotte” (The Chioggia Scuffles).

In 1753, he joined the Theatre at San Luca, owned by Francesco Vendramin. By then, the subject of his plays was almost exclusively the world of the bourgeoisie. That new and increasingly characterised social class, which increasingly supplanted the old traditional aristocracy; due to its dynamism, business acumen, cultural feelings and gusto for the modern.

Attracted to Paris by the “Théâtre-Italien”, but before leaving Venice, he wrote: “Una delle ultime sere di Carnevale” (One of the Last Carnival Evenings), a sort of heart-rendering farewell to his city. He reached Paris in November 1762, where he was to experience his final season of activity and success; living between Paris and Versailles.

In 1771, he dedicated himself to writing his “Mémoires”, an ironical and amusing autobiography; in a detached and cultured spirit, but unfortunately losing him his pension!

He died poverty stricken in Paris, on 6th February 1793.

Goldoni’s theatre output also includes: five tragedies, sixteen tragicomedies, one hundred and thirty-seven comedies, to which must be added, in the service of music, two sacred pieces, twenty entr’actes, thirteen dramas, forty-nine “drammi giocosi”, three farces and fifty-seven scenarios.


Layout and Collections

Today, the museum of Casa Goldoni is a magical, theatrical place, in which all the resources of modern museum design have been exploited; both to safeguard the fabric of this unique Gothic palace and also to provide visitors with an interactive layout.

Casa di Carlo Goldoni - Puppet TheatreThe new layout dedicates the three rooms of the first floor, to the main themes in the theatre of Carlo Goldoni. Original period paintings and furnishings appear in carefully-created Scenery settings, that are built around some famous plays written by Carlo Goldoni.

From the Salon, visitors can access to the “videotheque”, where they can watch on high technology TV; a documentary on Carlo Goldoni’s life “A Venetian between World and Theatre”. Upon request the facilities in the room will also allow visitors, to access the menu; including video-recordings of the most famous theatre performances, not just limited to Goldoni’s work.


  • The first room, for example, reproduces the XIV scene of “La Conversazione” and four other theatrical scenes; all faithfully treated with original period furniture and objects of the century of Goldoni: they are “The Venetian Lawyer” (1749-50), “La donna di garbo” (1743), “The obedient daughter” (1752), “La finta ammalata” (1751).
  • The second room presents the scene of “Chi la fa l’aspetta” (1765). Alongside these scenic representations are the images of Venetian eighteenth-century life so well represented by the painting of Longhi and his school: Breakfast in the villaThe KitchenThe ConcertThe DanceThe Seller of pancakesThe Music LessonLa FurlanaLunch with masks. In the second room there is also a silk-screen portrait of Carlo Goldoni realised by Lorenzo Tiepolo, that was used for the edition of Carlo’s comedies, in 1759.
  • The third room presents a scene from the first act of “Il giuocatore” (1750), an eighteenth-century furnishing with a small table and armchairs, a puppet theater (Goldoni had a similar one in the house) with the representation of Il Servitore di due padroni (1745), a painting by Pietro Longhi on the wall, Il Parlatorio, as well as other pictorial reproductions of Longhi such as Il Rinoceronte (1751), now kept by the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum.
  • Casa Goldoni’s Theatrical Studies Library, open to scholars who wish to request it, keeps original manuscripts from the Correr Fund; some original autographs by Carlo Goldoni; the Vendramin Archive and the theater libraries of Giuseppe Ortolani, Edgardo Maddalena and Cesare Musatti, with a total of about 30 thousand volumes. These include many eighteenth-century editions, of Goldoni and the manuscript of Giustino, written by Carlo; in the first period of his theatrical activity (before 1950).



TOP 25 MUSEUMS. Select your museum and click on the link below:

1 – Palazzo Ducale (The Doge’s Palace)

2 – Peggy Guggenheim Collection

3 – Ca’ Pesaro

4 – The Correr Museum

5 – Galleria dell’Accademia

6 – Scuola Grande di San Rocco

7 – San Servolo Insane Asylum Museum

8 – Palazzo Grassi (Francois Pinault Collection)

9 – Museo Fortuny

10 – Leonardo da Vinci Museum

11 – Fondazione Querini Stampalia

12 – Museo del Vetro

13 – Museo del Merletto

14 – Punta della Dogana

15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni (not linked)

16 – Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia 

17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo

18 – Museo Storico Navale di Venezia

19 – Museo della Musica

20 – Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova

21 – Museo di San Marco

22 – Museo Ebraico di Venezia

23 – Palazzo Cini

24 – Museo Provinciale di Torcello

25 – Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia


LINKS (internal external)

Casa di Carlo Goldoni – via San Polo, 2794 VENEZIA (VE) ITALY

Services: Information desk – Toilets/ Disabled Toilets – Bookshop – Elevator/ Elevator for disabled people

Phone:  +39 041 2759325

Official Website of Casa di Carlo Goldoni 

Download Pdf Booklet in English, detailed guide and layout for visiting the “Museum Casa di Carlo Goldoni”: HERE

Hours: from November 1 to May 31 from 10.00 to 17.00 (ticket office from 10.00 to 16.00). From 1 June to 31 October from 10.00 to 18.00 (ticket office from 10.00 to 17.00). Closed on Monday, December 25th, January 1st and May 1st.

Tickets: full € 5; reduced € 3,50    Because of inflation and changing health regulations, please check details.

Library Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8.30 to 13.30; Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30 to 17.00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.


To widen your experience and enjoyment before visiting, please see my comprehensive and illustrated posts below:

San Polo District and Main Attractions 

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

 Scuola Grande di Rocco

Venetian Palace Architectural Styles


15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni    15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni    15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni    15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This