Mozart in Venice

Plaque to Mozart, Venice
There is a plaque next to the Ponte dei Barcaroli, which records the visit the young Mozart (1756-91) made to Venice during the Carnival of 1771. He and his father took lodgings in the parish of San Fantin, close to what was then the San Benedetto theatre before it became La Fenice

Father and son lost no time in paying a call on one of their compatriots, a wealthy merchant by the name of Johan Widor. The merchant had become a resident of Venice and had taken a Venetian wife. She bore him nineteen children, thirteen of whom died before the age of six. 

The six children who survived were all girls and the younger Mozart took an immediate liking to what he termed the Widor 'pearls'. He dined and danced with the girls (who ranged in age from five to twenty-eight!) and accompanied the whole family to the midnight masked ball in the Piazza San Marco, which marked the official end to carnival. 

Such partying did not go down at all well with his stuffy father, who wrote to his wife that Venice was 'the most dangerous place in the world' for young people! 

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