It was she who little by little kindled in my heart the first sparks of a feeling which later became my ruling passion."Early on, Casanova demonstrated a quick wit, an intense appetite for knowledge, and a perpetually inquisitive mind.He entered the University of Padua at 12 and graduated at 17, in 1742, with a degree in law ("for which I felt an unconquerable aversion").
As was not uncommon at the time, Casanova, depending on circumstances, used more or less fictitious names, such as baron or count of Farussi (the name of his mother) or "Chevalier de Seingalt" (pronounced /He has become so famous for his often complicated and elaborate affairs with women that his name is now synonymous with "womanizer".He associated with European royalty, popes, and cardinals, along with luminaries such as Voltaire, Goethe, and Mozart.He also composed love letters for another cardinal.When Casanova became the scapegoat for a scandal involving a local pair of star-crossed lovers, Cardinal Acquaviva dismissed Casanova, thanking him for his sacrifice, but effectively ending his church career.For Casanova, the neglect by his parents was a bitter memory. Conditions at the boarding house were appalling, so he appealed to be placed under the care of Abbé Gozzi, his primary instructor, who tutored him in academic subjects, as well as the violin.
Casanova moved in with the priest and his family and lived there through most of his teenaged years.
Calling everything prejudice, I soon acquired all the habits of my degraded fellow musicians." He and some of his fellows, "often spent our nights roaming through different quarters of the city, thinking up the most scandalous practical jokes and putting them into execution ...
we amused ourselves by untying the gondolas moored before private homes, which then drifted with the current".
He found his advancement too slow and his duty boring, and he managed to lose most of his pay playing faro.
Casanova soon abandoned his military career and returned to Venice.
It was a required stop on the Grand Tour, traveled by young men coming of age, especially Englishmen.