The tower belongs to the system of Vrsar fortifications, and is one of the two that have been preserved. It was built in the Middle Ages in the Romanesque style and restored in 2017. Following the restoration, it was intended to serve as Casanova’s “sanctuary” and contemporary information and multimedia centre documenting the sojourn of G. Casanova in Vrsar in the 1740s.
Vrsar is famous for its association with Giacomo Casanova, who spent some time here twice. Both stays – the first in 1743 and the second in 1744 – were more coincidental than intentional, and are documented in his “Memoirs”. As he stated himself, he first visited Vrsar for three days in August 1743, when he was still a poor and unknown priest, while the second time he arrived in Vrsar as a soldier during his travels from the Venetian island of Malamocco, when his ship anchored in the Vrsar quayside in order to restock on ballast at night. The ship he travelled on transported 24 cannons and 200 Slavonic soldiers. Casanova described Vrsar as a derelict settlement he first visited it as an man of no distinction, and later as an unrecognisable man – in a shiny military uniform, believing that no one would recognise him. The derelict and sad state of Vrsar in the middle of the 18th century is not surprising since Vrsar was under an obsolete and very rigid feudal system at the time, and the Duchy of Vrsar could not keep abreast with the modern-period trends, particularly Casanova’s dynamic and whimsical spirit. In his “Memoirs”, Casanova described in great detail his long sojourn in Vrsar, when he met a local who had been working as a local surgeon for the past 20 years without much work, and who invited him for a breakfast and a glass of excellent Refosco wine. Casanova was first under the impression that the surgeon wanted him to purchase Refosco. It should be noted that winemaking was the most important economic activity in Vrsar at the time. The episode mentions Casanova’s adventure involving a girl from Vrsar, who was a servant of Don Girolamo’s. Owing to that and a series of coincidences, the aforementioned surgeon suddenly became very sought-after and wealthy in a short time. To celebrate Casanova’s sojourns, Vrsar holds Casanovafest – a festival of love and eroticism, featuring erotic films, drawings, photographs and aphrodisiacs.