11.654. This number doesn’t refer to the palazzi in Venice or their chimneys, but to the number of courtesans that lived and worked in Venice in 1509.
From Castelletto to San Cassiano
The courtesans carried out their work near the Rialto bridge in an area called “Castelletto” but in the 15th century they were dislodged and forced to live in the area around San Cassiano. There the girls/women showed themselves sitting on the windowsill, showing their bare breast, or even standing completely naked at the window to attract potential clients around the Ponte delle Tette (“Breast Bridge”, called like this because of the described practices).
It is said that there was even a law that permitted the prostitutes this practice to dissuade the male citizens from sexual practices with their consexuals and to increase their interest in the fair sex.