A plaque on the wall of the rather dilapidated Palazzo Bellavite (Campo San Maurizio) is a tribute to Giorgio Baffo (1694-1768), one of the most obscene poets ever to have put pen to paper, who once lived there.
Baffo recited his poems, which were extremely graphic celebrations of the sensual joys of erotic love, in cafes. None of his works, elegantly written in Venetian dialect, was published until after his death. In 1789 there appeared a complete edition of his poems in four volumes.
The French poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) hailed Baffo as the greatest 'poète priapique' who had ever lived. And it was to Apollinaire that the friends of Baffo, who erected the plaque in 1987, turned for a quotation.
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England.
Since 200I I have been living in Italy, where I run private tours of Florence, Rome &
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