Thursday, September 8, 2011


Marchesa Luisa Casati was Europe's most notorious celebrity, and it's most eccentric. For the first three decades of the 20th century, she travelled to Venice, Rome, Capri and Paris - collecting palaces and a managerie of exotic animals.

Nude servants gilded in gold leaf attended her. Bizarre wax mannequins sat as guests at her dining table. She wore live snakes as jewelry, and she was infamous for her evening strolls, naked beneath her furs, parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leases.

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