Venice is much much, more than the tedious annual carnival and references to Casanova. It is a city with a seafaring history, a place where battles won and where commerce was king. An offshore haven where chancers, survivors and honorable rogues mixed with nobility and kings. Or perhaps they were one in the same?!
One such man could have been Corto Maltese, a fabulous character created by Hugo Pratt (1927-1995), one of the greatest comic book writers in Italy and the world.
First appearing in 1967 his "Una Ballata del Mare Salato" (The Ballad of the Salt Sea) is a graphic novel about the adventure of a daring sea captain who wears a cap and has a gold earring in his left ear. Set in and around the period of the First World War, there are many more stories dedicated to Corto Maltese, but look out for those set in Venice. If anyone has displayed so colorfully the alternative soul to the city, it is Pratt.
Start with the video below and then head to the space in the city dedicated to the character and its author, has been set aside called the House of Corto Maltese. The House boasts creative laboratories and aesthetic experiences in keeping with the Corto Maltese's adventurous and explorative spirit. Visitors to the Casa di Corto Maltese can also meet the legendary Guido Fuga and Lele Vianello, long-time collaborators of Hugo Pratt.