Palazzi along the Grand Canal Venice 

Today, the Ca’ d’Oro is home to a small but beautiful museum. One of the most prominent Renaissance palazzi that served as an example for many later palaces is the Palazzo Corner-Spinelli built by Mauro Codussi in 1500. The Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, built around 1500 by the architects Codussi and Lombardo, is typical of the Venetian Renaissance. The central section has three times three windows and of course steps for the boats to tie up to, while the wall planes feature ‘linked’ columns as if they were corner risalits.

Palazzo Vendramin Calergi

Palazzo Vendramin Calergi Venice

Jacopo Sansovino was an important Renaissance architect from Florence. Sansovino created many buildings and also carved many sculptures. A typical work of his is the Palazzo Corner or Ca’Grande from 1537 or the Palazzo Dolfin-Manin.

Palazzo Corner or Ca’Grande

Palazzo Corner Ca’Grande Venice

The Ca’Pesaro from 1682 and the Ca’Rezzonico from 1660 are good examples of Baroque architecture. The architect for both palazzi was Baldassare Longhena. The Ca’Rezzonico is a palazzo that was converted to a museum and today provides us with a realistic image of how the wealthy elite of the 17th century Serenissima lived.

Ca’Pesaro
entrance hall
Facade and side wall

Ca’Pesaro Venice

The Classicist Palazzo Grassi was built by Giorgio Massari in the 18th century. The Neo-Gothic Ca’Genovese, built in 1892, is located close to Santa Maria della Salute.

map Venice
Venice aerial big size
Youtube Venice by Drone (4.04  minutes)
Venice aerial

Youtube trip with the Vaporetto through the Grand Canal (10.44 minutes)

1.    Fondaco dei Turchi, built in the 13th century, today a museum of natural history.
2.   Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi. Venetian Renaissance palazzo built by Mauro Codussi and Pietro Lombardo in 1481.
3.   Ca’Pesaro.Baroque, built by Baldassare Longhena in 1682. The building is now home to a modern art museum.
4.   Ca’ D’Oro. The golden house built by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon for the Contarini family.*
5.   Ca’ da Mosto one of Venice’s oldest palazzos.*
6.   Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Built in 1228, served as a warehouse and inn for German merchants until the 15th century.*
7.   Palazzo Dolfin-Manin. Built by Renaissance architect Jacopo Sansovino in the first half of the 16th century.
8.   Palazzi Loredan Farsetti. The facades of the lower two floors date from the 13th century. It is today the Venice town hall.
9.   Palazzo Grimani from 1540 by architect Michele Sanmicheli, widely regarded as one of the highlights of Venetian Renaissance architecture.
10. Palazzo Papadopoli by Renaissance sculptor Alessandro Vittoria.
11. Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza by Renaissance architect Scamozzi.*
12. Palazzo Corner-Spinelli this Renaissance palazzo is attributed to Mauro Codussi.
13. Palazzo Contarini delle figure. This Renaissance palazzo used to be the home of Jacopo Contarini, friend and patron to Palladio.
14. Ca’Foscari. Built in the 15th century and commissioned by Doge Foscari. The building is regarded as an example of late Gothic architecture.
15. Ca’Rezzonico. This Baroque palazzo was built by Baldassare Longhena in 1660 (Massari completed it in 1750).*
16. The Classicist Palazzo Grassi was built by Giorgio Massari in the 18th century. Today a museum.
17. Palazzo Corner (Ca’Grande). This building is regarded as a masterpiece of Renaissance architect Sansovino.
18. Palazzo Dario built around 1485 by Giovanni Dario; famous for its asymmetrical sectional facade.
19. Palazzo Contarini-Fasan Palazzo Contarini-Fasan, also known as Casa della Desdemona; a small late Gothic facade from 1475.*
4*    One of the best examples of Venetian Gothic. Today home to a museum: the Galleria Franchetti.
5*    The lower two floors clearly show the Byzantine influence on Venetian architecture.
6*    Rebuilt after a fire in 1505. The building used to feature allegorical frescos by Giorgione and Titian on its facade.
11*  This palazzo used to feature a famous collection of paintings including works by Titian (now in St Petersburg). Rebuilt to shopping center by Rem Koolhaas finished in 2016
15*  Famous artists such as Tiepolo and Guardi contributed to the decoration of its interior. Today it is a museum.
19*  It was the setting for the tragedy of Othello and Desdemona.

Casa della Desdemona a.k.a. Palazzo Contarini-Fasan

Casa della Desdemona or Palazzo Contarini-Fasan Venice

picture: netNicholls

Venetian palazzi have their roots in the 13th century Fondaco dei Turchi on the Canal Grande. Its character was adversely affected by a 19th century ‘restoration’.

  1. Youtube: palazzi, construction, foundations Venice Backstage – How does Venice work? (9.12 – 18.15 minutes) 
  2. Youtube reconstruction building palazzo Cavalli (1.55 minutes)
  3. Youtube Acqua Alta
  4. Youtube  the solution for the Acqua Alta: Mose project finished  c. 2018-2020 (1.09 – 3.50 minutes)
  5. Youtube  the traffic in Venice  (3.35  minutes)

The following characteristics are typical of Venetian palazzi:

1.   Because of the weak subsoil thin walls and many ‘holes’ in the wall space.
2.  Façade nearly always facing the canal, only rarely a campo.
3.  Wall passages usually grouped together and often asymmetrical.
4.  Abundant decorations around windows, doors, etc.
5.  Often colourful stucco or brick mosaics, coverings of oriental types of stone, marble or majolica medallions.
6.  Contrary to what is often being said, flat roofs are rare.
7.  Ground floor often used as warehouse, first floor the ‘stately’ living quarters and windows often integrated in loggias.
8.  The sectional facade of the ground floor or first floor often continued in the floors above. The first floor is just as deep as the house.
9.  Click here for various kinds of floor plans and cross sections of Venetian palazzi
10. Often no inner courtyard. When this is the case, for example in the Ca’d’Oro, it includes a well and free standing stairs.

Click here for the continuation of day 2