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Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

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The Gothic Palace, famous for its spiral staircase that can be admired by everyone it’s part of those treasures of the city hidden in some narrow “calle”. It is situated in the “Corte dei Risi” (also known as Bovolo) close to Campo Manin in Saint Mark’s District.

“Bovolo” means literally “snail” (or better spiral, in this case), and the name derives from the singular shape of the stairs. The Palace was built by Family Contarini at the end of ‘400. In 1499 on the side of the internal court, the loggias opened with round arches on the lower side and lowered on top were added, in Renaissance style.

The opera was commissioned by Pietro Contarini. We are not sure about the author of the tower (symbol of the whole palace), it is thought to be an opera by Giovanni Candi or Giorgio Spavento. Through the tower it is possible to reach the loggias whose style is reprised by five rows of flying buttresses that end with a dome from which it is possible to admire a good part of the city.

During the XIX Century the Palace has also been a hotel. Now it is owned by IRE (Recovery and Educational Institution).


Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Venice, San Marco 4299
Corte dei Risi o del Bovolo
ACTV Waterbus stops:
San Marco, Rialto
IRE, San Marco 2906, 30124 Venezia
Tel. 041.2601974, Fax. 041.2601975

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