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Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo description and photos - Italy: Venice. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.
Photo and description
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo once belonged to the aristocratic Venetian family of Contarini, who gave Venice eight doges. Most of the members of this family lived in luxurious palaces that stood on the banks of the Grand Canal - this place was ideal for expressing their immeasurable wealth. However, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is by no means one of these palaces. Tucked away in a dark alley near Piazza San Marco, this curious building is far from luxurious. In order to compensate for the questionable location of the palace, the architect Giorgio Spavento was commissioned to attach a spiral staircase with a series of vertical arches leading to a Gothic tower, which was built in 1499 by Giovanni Candy. The adjoining wing of the palace consists of harmonious arcades with balustrades, but, undoubtedly, it is the staircase that is its attraction. Its spiral spans resemble snake skin, for which the palace itself was called the "Snake House".
Also noteworthy are two small courtyards and sheds over the wells at the base of the tower. Most of these canopies are much older than the Palazzo itself, and have been aptly integrated into its structure. On one of them you can see the family coat of arms of Contarini, which suggests that it was made later than others.
For many years, the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo was in a depressing state. The frescoes that once completely covered the facade are now visible only from one of the flights of stairs, and some passages on the "drunken nobile" were completely walled up. The half arches on the fourth floor were originally solid and then partially destroyed. Perhaps the best preserved is the staircase that has always made an indelible impression on tourists (among the latter were Lord Byron and John Ruskin).
Today, Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is run by the Santa Apollonia Association, which charges a small fee to climb the famous staircase. I must say that this climb requires considerable physical effort, but is rewarded with a wonderful view from the roof.
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Topic: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo description and photos - Italy: Venice.