This is a preview of the content in our Venice Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

Giovanni Francesco Straparola

The Father of Fairy Tales

Puss in Boots meets the Ogre, by Gustave Doré

Giovanni Francesco Straparola is a mysterious fellow; biographical detail is scarce. Some even say Straparola ('Babbler') wasn't even his real name. But between 1550-53, he published Le piacevoli notti (The Pleasant Nights, often translated into English as The Facetious Nights of Straparola), a key work in the history of European fairy tales.

Straparola borrows the frame for his book from Boccaccio's Decameron: a group of women (mostly) and men (among them, Pietro Bembo) attend a party over 13 nights on Murano, entertaining one another with all kinds of stories—75 all told.

Many are the first recorded versions of European fairy tales, including Costantino Fortunato, the earliest known version of Puss in Boots. His stories were the source for many of the tales retold by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, and Carlo Gozzi (including The Green Bird).

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

History and Anecdotes


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by PD Art