A Venetian courtesan becomes a hero to her city, but later becomes the target of an inquisition by the Church for witchcraft.

Veronica Franco: I confess that as a young girl I loved a man who would not marry me for want of a dowry. I confess I had a mother who taught me a different way of life, one I resisted at first but learned to embrace. I confess I became a courtesan, traded yearning for power, welcomed many rather than be owned by one. I confess I embraced a whore's freedom over a wife's obedience. I confess I find more ecstacy in passion than in prayer. Such passion is prayer. I confess I pray still to feel the touch of my lover's lips. His hands upon me, his arms enfolding me... Such surrender has been mine. I confess I pray still to be filled and enflamed. To melt into the dream of us, beyond this troubled place, to where we are not even ourselves. To know that always, this is mine. If this had not been mine-if I had lived any other way-a child to her husband's will, my soul hardened from lack of touch and lack of love... I confess such endless days and nights would be a punishment far greater than you could ever mete out. You, all of you, you who hunger so for what I give yet cannot bear to see that kind of power in a woman. You call God's greatest gift-ourselves, our yearning, our need to love-you call it filth and sin and heresy... I repent there was no other way open to me. I do not repent my life.
Veronica Franco: You... all of you... you who hunger so for what I give, but cannot bear to see such power in a woman. You call God's greatest gift... ourselves, our yearning, our need to love... you call it filth and sin and heresy.
Veronica Franco: [she's peeling a banana] The Latin for banana is arienna. Banana tree is pala.
[she swallows the banana whole, as the wives look on shocked]
Veronica Franco: A woman's greatest, and most hard-won asset... is an education.
Giulia De Lezze: Just because you can say it in Latin doesn't make it any less obscene.
Veronica Franco: Just because you took a vow doesn't mean you know how to love.
Domenico Venier: If I didn't know you better I'd think you have the feigned indifference of a man in love. Go on son. Tell the truth and shame the devil.
Marco Venier: Do you not like my kiss?
Veronica Franco: I wish it were not a sin to have liked it so.
Marco Venier: God made sin, though we might know his mercy.
Veronica Franco: I confess I *fuck* divinely those who love... and well opine me.
Maffio Venier: [mocking her] I confess... I fuck divinely... those who... richly wine and dine me!
Marco Venier: You must save yourself.
Veronica Franco: How?
Marco Venier: Confess... whatever foolishness they put before you...
Veronica Franco: That I am a witch?
Marco Venier: What does it matter what you say to these hypocrites?
Veronica Franco: I would be saying it.
Marco Venier: There is no honor with fools like these. God will forgive you.
Veronica Franco: Marco, if I give them my lie, I give them my soul. I'll lose everything I ever was. My love, my words, my heart.
Marco Venier: Yes, but you would live.
Veronica Franco: As someone else.
Beatrice Venier: Do you know what my daughter's nurse told her today? "In a girl's voice lies temptation - a known fact. Eloquence in a woman means promiscuity. Promiscuity of the mind leads to promiscuity of the body." She doesn't believe it yet, but she will. She'll grow up just like her mother. Marry, raise children and honor her family. Spend her youth in needlepoint and rue the day she was born a girl. And when she dies, she'll wonder why she obeyed all the rules of God and Country for no biblical hell could ever be worse than a state of perpetual inconsequence.
Veronica Franco: You sleep with Giulia every night for duty's sake. I slept with the King of France once for duty's sake. Who does not forgive?
Marco Venier: Perhaps I just can't live with it.
Veronica Franco: But I love you.
Veronica Franco: There's not a man in Venice I can't have.
Marco Venier: And there's not a woman in Venice I can't have.
Veronica Franco: You cannot have me.
Maffio Venier: May sing... and rhyme... and more. Still... is at best a slut... with every horny mutt! You pride yourself on arts and letters, and fucking best your manly betters!
Veronica Franco: I save the goodly wives of Venice from their husbands' lustful menace!
Grand Inquisitor: I leave this woman to Venice, which richly deserves her.
Veronica Franco: My people are true citizens 700 years back.
Marco Venier: A coat of arms does not an inheritance make.
Veronica Franco: Recant the curse you give my kind. Admit I have, as you, a heart and mind.
Maffio Venier: A greedy hand, an empty heart is all that wrests your legs apart.
Veronica Franco: [after her first time, with a lustful expression on her face] Who's next?
Paola Franco: It's the wanting that keeps us alive.
Veronica Franco: What do you yearn for, King Henry?
King Henry: [He holds a dagger at her throat] You've heard the rumors, Veronica?
Veronica Franco: Yes, sire.
King Henry: The king's a pervert.
Veronica Franco: What do you really yearn for, King Henry?
King Henry: Tears.
Veronica Franco: Tears for whom?
King Henry: Your tears.
Veronica Franco: You yearn for my tears? I don't think so.
King Henry: Then what do I yearn for?
Veronica Franco: [She takes the dagger from him slowly, then points it at his neck] Why don't we find out?
Veronica Franco: I think you mistake me for one of your easy court companions?
Marco Venier: No, no I mistook the asking in your eyes.
Veronica Franco: If I were yours alone, your property, chaste and silent, you would soon tire of me.
Marco Venier: You're wrong!
Veronica Franco: Am I?
Maffio Venier: Personally, I didn't think Uncle was still capable of getting it up. What did you do to him to get him to publish this little of ditties.
Marco Venier: She worked for it.
Maffio Venier: Ha, I bet she did. How much do you cost these days Veronica?
Veronica Franco: If your prick is as limp as your verse, no price can buy time enough.
Paola Franco: Desire begins in the mind.
Maffio Venier: You compel sacred love to garner riches. What is this if not witchcraft?
Veronica Franco: No!
Maffio Venier: No? Did you ever give yourself to a man who could not pay your fee?
Veronica Franco: I gave my heart where riches were no use.
Maffio Venier: Answer the question!
Veronica Franco: I did what was necessary to live!
Maffio Venier: Did you ever give yourself to a man who could not pay your fee?
Grand Inquisitor: You will answer the question!
Marco Venier: What God and greed have joined together, let no love put asunder.
Paola Franco: Courtesans, my dear, are the most educated women in the world.
Marco Venier: I'm getting married Veronica. Congratulate me.
Veronica Franco: Felicitations on your grand match.
Orator: Citizens of Venice! Look around you now at the disease and deaths that have taken over our once beautiful city, and tell me this plague is not a punishment from God! We are surrounded by harlots and courtesans! We must cast out those who tempt us for we are a city of shame of fornication and carnal practices that defy description. We will go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah and become dust in the sands of time!
Paola Franco: In order to choose your lovers wisely, you need to understand men. No matter their shape or size... position or wealth... they all dream of the temptress. The irresistible... unapproachable Venus... who quickly turns pliable maiden when they've had a hard day.
Maffio Venier: It must be interesting to be in a room full of men, most of whom you've seen with their pants down.
Veronica Franco: Puts it all in some kind of perspective.

If you find QuotesGram website useful to you, please donate $10 to support the ongoing development work.