Go back to the e-newsletterRadisson Blu has announced the opening of its second hotel in Vienna, Austria. The modern 233-room Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel, Vienna, a rebranding of an existing hotel, opened its doors under a new umbrella. The hotel is located next to Schönbrunn Palace – one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in the country.“The capital of Austria remains a focal market for our growth journey,” said Elie Younes, executive vice president and chief development officer of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “The additional hotel brings the group´s portfolio in Vienna to three hotels – two Radisson Blu properties and one Park Inn by Radisson – with nearly 500 rooms, and we will continue to look for further opportunities in this city alongside our franchise partner Austria Trend.”The Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel, Vienna, features 233 guest rooms, including 21 suites. Guests have an all-day restaurant and lobby bar, executive lounge, gym, sauna and relaxation area at their disposal. The property also features a ballroom, with more than 600 square metres of space and a total capacity of 500 people, along with nine modern seminar rooms.The Austria Trend Hotels, Austria’s largest hotel group, have already had a successful cooperation with the Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt in Salzburg since 2001.“Our partnership with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, operator of Radisson Blu, in Salzburg has proven to be very positive; the figures are very satisfactory,” explained Martin Winkler, spokesman of the Verkehrsbüro Group executive board. “Our aim is to strengthen the international position of the Hotel Park Royal Palace through the Radisson Blu brand.”“Radisson Blu is an established and attractive hotel brand, for guests in the leisure and business segments, as well as those from the intercontinental overseas markets – especially from the USA and Asia,” added Andreas Berger, managing director of the Austria Trend Hotels. “The positioning of the Radisson Blu Park Royal Palace Hotel, Vienna, as a leading international hotel in the immediate vicinity of Schönbrunn Palace will be strengthened through the cooperation.”Go back to the e-newsletter
The legend of the great lady’s man was as large and romanticized 200 years ago, as it is today. Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, the 18th Century Venetian womanizer led a life full of intrigue, adventure and seduction, not to mention forays into the occult, alchemy and espionage. A man who matched wits with the greatest minds of the Enlightenment and authored his own legend through his writings. Casanova was born in 1725 the eldest of six children in a Venice that was alive with both vice and virtue. He was sent away from his family at the age of 9 to a boarding house in Padua.Casanova’s mother, an actress who went on to be admired throughout Europe, wanted to focus on her theater career rather than motherhood. This early rejection may have played a big part in forming Casanova into the infamous character he would become.Casanova wrote his History of My Life while staying at the château of the Count of Waldstein in 1774.At the age of 9 Casanova showed remarkable promise and by 12 had entered the University of Padua, graduating at 17 with a degree in law, having also studied mathematics, chemistry and philosophy. By the age of 21, he had entered the priesthood without success and was expelled from Rome under the charge of corruption of a minor.This expulsion marked the beginning of a pattern in Casanovas life whose womanizing was second only to his hunger for adventure and new experiences. As an old man living in the Czech countryside, he would spend his last decade writing his autobiography called The History of My Life. This work provides a detailed firsthand, if at times unreliable, account of his wild libertine life in the Age of Enlightenment.Portrait of Casanova aged 20-something, in Venice. By his brother Francesco Casanova.His initial sexual awakening happened as a young teenager in Padua when he had lost his virginity in a ménage à trois with two young noble women, who happened to be sisters.According to Casanova he bedded over 120 women, and in his finer moments he comes across as a great lover not just of sex but of women in general, seeking out those he considered the most beautiful and intelligent for his love affairs. Judith Summers in her book Casanova’s Women writes “As well as good looks, he possessed the rare gift of befriending women. He had the knack of addressing them as if they were his equals, and undressing them as if they were his superiors.”San Samuele – Casanova’s childhood neighborhood.In his darker moments we see tales of rape and battery, repeated bouts of STD’s and a penchant for pursuing virgins, professing his devotion and then unceremoniously dumping them after the deed had been done. Although Casanova stated that he had to find his women both mentally and physically stimulating, he was also known to have sexual encounters with anonymous street prostitutes and even total strangers.Perhaps the most outrageous tryst by our modern standards is the story of his love affair with Leonilda. During Casanova’s younger years, while an apprentice for the priesthood, he had an affair with a married noblewoman by the name of Donna Lucrezia. Casanova boasts of sneaking into bed with Lucrezia and, after making love to her 4 times, turning his attention to her 17-yr-old virgin sister Angelica, weeks before her wedding. Out of this affair with Donna Lucrezia came a daughter, Leonilda, who was raised as the legitimate offspring of her noble husband.Illustration in Casanova’s Histoire de ma fuite des prisons de la République de Venise qu’on appelle Les Plombs (Story of my Flight), 1787. From the German edition, 1788.It is not clear how Leonilda and Casanova met, or if at the time they knew about their close familial relationship, but at sixteen, to the shock of everyone present, Leonilda presented Casanova, her biological father, to her family as her would-be fiancé!Fortunately, the marriage didn’t go ahead but before Casanova parted with the family he once again bedded Donna Lucrezia, and Leonilda joined them.Casanova makes clear that he didn’t sleep with Leonilda on this occasion. However, if Casanova himself is to be believed, they met again years later and did end up going to bed together, a liaison which resulted in a child — making Casanova the father of his own grandson.Page from the autograph manuscript of ‘Histoire de ma vie.’Another in the list of Casanova’s curious affairs is with a person named Bellino. At the time Bellino was posing as a man and was believed to be a member of the Castrati, those who were castrated before puberty into order to retain their high singing voice. Casanova, however, was convinced Bellino was a woman and made it his goal to find out for certain. True to his word he discovered that Bellino was actually Teresa Lanti, a beautiful young girl posing as a Castrato. To conceal her gender she would wear a fake penis and dress as a man. Unbeknownst to Casanova, Lanti had a child by him, a son whom, as if things weren’t bizarre enough, she raised as her brother.12 Ye Olde English insults we could use todayFor all his philandering though, Casanova was by no means impervious to heartbreak. His love affair with a French noblewoman known to us as Henriette lasted only three months but was to leave an indelible mark on his soul.By his own account, she was the perfect woman, an intelligent, beautiful aristocrat who was not looking for commitment just a haven from her own troubles. When she departed to go back to her family, she left him almost bankrupt but forever in love. They continued a correspondence for many years, but they never met again.Bust of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798) age forty.Casanova was not the most handsome of men but in his younger years he carried himself with a charm and charisma that was almost irresistible. As he writes in his autobiography “My currency was an unbridled self-esteem, which inexperience forbade me to doubt.”Giacomo Casanova was the only person who managed to escape from the terrible prisons of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, Italy.Casanova was also well educated and possessed a great wit that made him a delightful companion; on his travels he notably made the acquaintance of Voltaire, Catherine the Great, Benjamin Franklin and Mozart. He also managed to escape one of the most heavily guarded prisons in Venice, being the first man to do so.Medallion portrait of Casanova, March 1788.Read another story from us: The Court Dwarf Served in a Pie to a KingFor all his faults, Casanova is a fascinating character who has fed the public imagination for hundreds of years, spawning many books, films and scholarly papers. In France, he is something of a national treasure and the original copy of History of My Life is now housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, who purchased it in 2010 for a record breaking $9.6 million.