One important place for the exchange of ideas was the salon. The word salon first appeared in France in 1664 (from the Italian word salone, itself from sala, the large reception hall of Italian mansions).
Italy had had an early tradition of the salon; Giovanna Dandolo became known as a patron and gatherer of artists as wife of Doge Pasquale Malipiero, the doge in Venice in 1457-1462. Giovanna Dandolo supported the newly introduced art of book printing in Venice, the lace industry of Burano, and acted as a financier for many writers.
… a princess of splendid physical and mental gifts but possessed of no private fortune … in 1469 Giovanni Spira dedicated to her the first book ever printed in Venice — Many of the early books printed in Venice are dedicated to her, in gratitude for her patronage. Four of the first books printed in Venice in 1469 were all dedicated to her patronage.
Many of the early books printed in Venice are dedicated to her. She was referred to as the empress of book printing and the queen of lace. The only known surviving portrait of a 15th-century dogaressa is that of Giovanna Dandolo on the reverse of a medal designed by Pietro da Fano circa 1460.
In 16th-century Italy, some brilliant circles formed in the smaller courts which resembled salons, often galvanized by the presence of a beautiful and educated patroness such as Isabella d’Este or Elisabetta Gonzaga. Courtesan Tullia d’Aragona held a salon in the 16th-century as well.
In 17th-century Rome, the abdicated Queen Christina of Sweden and the Colonna princess, Marie Mancini, rivaled as salon hostesses.
Humfrey, Peter. “The Portrait in Fifteenth Century Venice”. The Renaissance Portrait: From Donatello to Bellini (2nd ed.). New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-1-58839-425-5.