Born in 1725 to Italian and Spanish parentage, Giacomo Casanova lived a long and exciting life. As a scholar and an adventurer, he traveled widely throughout Europe and Russia associating with rulers and Kings. For a time he was in the service of the army and he became a great political stirrer. But he vacillated between fortune and misfortune, often resorting to gaming and loafing about. But Casanova is of course best known for his womanizing, and the writing in "The Venetian Years" is remarkably modern, accessible, and funny. It took him 18 years to write his memoirs and another 100 for them to be classified as genuine. Brilliantly brought to life by the effervescent Benedict Cumberbatch, this first volume of "Casanova" charts his childhood and life as a young man in Italy.