The streets were filled with people from all over Europe: Women dressed in long flowing dresses and large swinging skirts, the face hidden beneath a Bauta* or a Moretta*. Men were dressed in elegant jackets and powdered wigs, white silk stockings and elegant shoes, hiding their face with a mask.
It was Carnival! Giacomo was on the move to the Do Spade with one of his friends in order to enjoy a glass of wine or two and find some good company. When they left the illuminated Campo de le Becarie and entered the narrow dark street, they turned right immediately and literally found themselves in front of a wall of men blocking the entrance to the Osteria. They pushed through and found their way in the Osteria.
Giacomo Casanova’s sight immediately fell on the projecting cleavage of a woman that, unfortunately, was in the company of three harlekins sitting at a table. According to the “confidential” information of the Oste one of them was the husband.
Giacomo and his friend looked at each other mischievously and went over to the laughing group: „Gentlemen, police! You have to accompany us.“ The three men looked at the two non-costumed men in a dither. „Are you deaf? You have to come with us. A man has been murdered just here around the corner and the murderer was dressed like a Harlekin“, said Casanova seriously. The three men that had already emptied some glasses of wine, didn’t want to begin a fight (furthermore they were not able to think right anymore), got up and followed Casanova and his friend stumbling to a boat that took them down the Grand Canal past Saint Mark’s Square to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The three drunken men got off and Casanova and his friend asked the oarsman to leave the three Harlekins put there and bring them immediately back to Rialto („They are friends of us, we are playing a prank on them!”). There, they kept good company to the poor lady that was still waiting for her husband to turn back … the whole night.
*typical Carnival mask