In Book Two of Dracula Chronicles, Lady Donatella Loredano is depicted in one instance wearing shoes that were so high she required the assistance of two attendants to walk safely. The photos above show two models of such shoes. Contrary to what you might expect, these shoes were not meant to be worn when Venice experienced “aqua alta” (a frequent weather-related phenomenon when the water rises several inches above the level of the streets and piazzas). Instead, they were worn to protect wealthy ladies’ gowns from dragging through the mud. Donatella lived in the Venetian Quarter in Constantinople, where aqua alta was unknown, but where muddy streets were common. But, as you saw in “Empire of the Crescent Moon“, Donatella used the high shoes not as protection against the dirt but to tower over Boruele Grimaldi, the podestà of Galata, whose help she needed to effect Vlad’s escape from Ottoman captivity.

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