The Grand Canal is a channel in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. Flanked along its entire length by magnificent buildings, most of the centuries between the twelfth and eighteenth, which manifest the wealth and art created by the Republic of Venice, making it one of the symbols of the city, every year the Venetians relive centuries-old traditions of the Serenissima, such as the Historical Regatta.
The Grand Canal is the main canal that crosses the historic center of Venice. One end of the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into the basin at San Marco; in between, it makes a large reverse-S shape through the central districts (sestieri) of Venice. It is 3.8 km long, and 30 to 90 m wide, with an average depth of 5 metres.
The Grand Canal started from a short stretch in a south-easterly direction of the Constitution Bridge, it turns north-east, to then a large bend, along which the Scalzi Bridge and the confluence of the Cannaregio Canal are found, which ends to the Rialto Bridge. From here it continues south-west and then south and finally east, from Ponte dell’Accademia to Punta della Dogana. In this path it touches five of the six sestieri, collects 45 minor canals and is crossed by seven bridges. The most recent is the Ponte della Costituzione, which connect the square of the Venice Santa Lucia station with Piazzale Roma, the terminus of the car lines and the tram line of the Venice Transport Consortium.
The Grand Canal around which the city was born, the vital center of trade in the Serenissima throughout the Middle Ages, the Grand Canal was the most coveted seat of the representative palaces of the patrician families, the place to enhance one’s wealth, the true Book of ‘gold’ in which to stand out. There are at least 170 residences that still today can tell a thousand years of splendor of the Republic, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, and demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice.
The noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos; this contest reveals the citizens’ pride and the deep bond with the lagoon. In the history of the families who lived there and in the alternation of architecture, always influenced by a particular Venetian taste. It can be said that, with this “competition” for the most beautiful palace, Venice has embodied the pride of its identity and the deep bond with the lagoon in the Grand Canal.
Most of the buildings located along the Grand Canal will spend a lot of money to build exquisite facades. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca’ Rezzonico, Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca’ Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Most of these luxury residences are now converted into hotels, banks or museums. Between these architectures are some churches, schools and small square. The most famous churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.
Because most of the city’s traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge. There are currently three more bridges, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell’Accademia, and the Ponte della Costituzione. Most of the palaces emerge from water without pavement. Consequently, one can only tour past the fronts of the buildings on the grand canal by boat.
The Grand Canal probably follows the course of an ancient river (possibly a branch of the Brenta) flowing into the lagoon. Adriatic Veneti groups already lived beside the formerly-named “Rio Businiacus” before the Roman age. They lived in stilt houses and relied on fishing and commerce (mainly salt). Under the rule of the Roman empire and later of the Byzantine empire the lagoon became populated and important, and in the early 9th century the doge moved his seat from Malamocco to the safer “Rivoaltus”.
Increasing trade followed the doge and found in the deep Grand Canal a safe and ship accessible canal-port. Drainage reveals that the city became more compact over time: at that time the Canal was wider and flowed between small, tide-subjected islands connected by wooden bridges.
Along the Canal, the number of “fondaco” houses increased, buildings combining the warehouse and the merchant’s residence. The fondaco house often had lateral defensive towers (torreselle), as in the Fondaco dei Turchi (13th century, heavily restored in the 19th). With the German warehouse, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi (which is also situated on the Grand Canal), it reflects the high number of foreign merchants working in Venice, where the republic supplied them with storerooms and lodging and simultaneously controlled their trading activity.
A portico (the curia) covers the bank and facilitates the ships’ unloading. From the portico a corridor flanked by storerooms reaches a posterior courtyard. Similarly, on the first floor a loggia as large as the portico illuminates the hall into which open the merchant’s rooms. The façade is thereby divided into an airy central part and two more solid sides. A low mezzanine with offices divides the two floors.
More public buildings were built along the Canal at Rialto: palaces for commercial and financial Benches (Palazzo dei Camerlenghi and Palazzo dei Dieci Savi, rebuilt after 1514 fire) and a mint. In 1181 Nicolò Barattieri constructed a pontoon bridge connecting Rialto to Mercerie area, which was later replaced by a wooden bridge with shops on it. Warehouses for flour and salt were more peripheral.
The Venetian-Byzantine style
The Fourth Crusade, with the loot obtained from the sack of Constantinople (1204), and other historical situations, gave Venice an Eastern influence until the late 14th century. From the Byzantine empire, goods arrived together with sculptures, friezes, columns and capitals to decorate the fondaco houses of patrician families. The Byzantine art merged with previous elements resulting in a Venetian-Byzantine style; in architecture, it was characterized by large loggias with round or elongated arches and by polychrome marbles abundance.
Along the Grand Canal, these elements are well preserved in Ca’ Farsetti, Ca’ Loredan (both municipal seats) and Ca’ da Mosto, all dating back to the 12th or 13th century. During this period Rialto had an intense building development, determining the conformation of the Canal and surrounding areas. As a matter of fact, in Venice building materials are precious and foundations are usually kept: in the subsequent restorations, existing elements will be used again, mixing the Venetian-Byzantine and the new styles (Ca’ Sagredo, Palazzo Bembo). Polychromy, three-partitioned façades, loggias, diffuse openings, and rooms disposition formed a particular architectural taste that continued in the future.
Venetian Gothic architecture found favor quite late, as a splendid flamboyant Gothic (“gotico fiorito”) beginning with the southern façade of the Doge’s Palace. The verticality and the illumination characterizing the Gothic style are found in the porticos and loggias of fondaco houses: columns get thinner, elongated arches are replaced by pointed or ogee or lobed ones. Porticos rise gently intertwining and drawing open marbles in quatrefoils or similar figures. Façades were plastered in brilliant colors.
The open marble fascias, often called “laces”, quickly diffused along the Grand Canal. Among the 15th-century palaces still showing the original appearance are Ca’ d’Oro, Palazzo Bernardo a San Polo, Ca’ Foscari (now housing the University of Venice), Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Palazzi Barbaro, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti.
By the start of the 15th century, Renaissance architecture motifs appear in such buildings as the Palazzo Dario and the Palazzo Corner Spinelli; the latter was designed by Mauro Codussi, pioneer of this style in Venice. Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, another of his projects (now hosting the Casino), reveals a completed transition: the numerous and large windows with open marbles are round-arched and have columns in the three classical orders.
Classical architecture is more evident in Jacopo Sansovino’s projects, who arrived from Rome in 1527. Along the Canal, he designed Palazzo Corner and Palazzo Dolfin Manin, known for grandiosity, for the horizontal layout of the white façades and for the development around a central courtyard. Other Renaissance buildings are Palazzo Papadopoli and Palazzo Grimani di San Luca. Several palaces of this period had façades with frescoes by painters such as Il Pordenone, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, all of them unfortunately lost. Particularly noteworthy were the frescoes by Veronese and Zelotti on Ca Cappello, overlooking the Grand Canal at the intersection with the Rio de S. Polo.
In 1582, Alessandro Vittoria began the construction of Palazzo Balbi (now housing the Government of Veneto), in which Baroque elements can be recognized: fashioned cornices, broken pediments, ornamental motifs.
The major Baroque architect in Venice was Baldassarre Longhena. In 1631 he began to build the magnificent Santa Maria della Salute basilica, one of the most beautiful churches in Venice and a symbol of Grand Canal. The classical layout of the façade features decorations and by many statues, the latter crowning also the refined volutes surrounding the major dome.
Longhena later designed two majestic palaces, Ca’ Pesaro and Ca’ Rezzonico (with many carvings and chiaroscuro effects), and Santa Maria di Nazareth church (Chiesa degli Scalzi). For various reasons the great architect did not see any of these buildings finished, and the designs for all but Santa Maria Della Salute were modified after his death.
Longhena’s themes recur in the two older façades of Palazzo Labia, containing a famous fresco cycle by Giambattista Tiepolo. In the Longhenian school grew Domenico Rossi (San Stae’s façade, Ca’ Corner della Regina) and Giorgio Massari, who later completed Ca’ Rezzonico.
The 16th and 17th centuries mark the beginning of the Republic’s decline, but nevertheless, they saw the highest building activity on the Grand Canal. This can be partially explained by the increasing number of families (like the Labia) becoming patrician by the payment of an enormous sum to the Republic, which was then facing financial difficulties. Once these families had achieved this new status, they built themselves with impressive residences on the Canal, often inducing other families to renew theirs.
Neoclassical architectures along the Canal date to the 18th century: during the first half was built San Simeone Piccolo, with an impressive corinthian portico, central plan and a high copper-covered dome ending in a cupola shaped as a temple. Date to the second half Massari’s Palazzo Grassi.
After the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797, much of the palatial construction in Venice was suspended, as symbolized by the unfinished San Marcuola and Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection). The Patrician families, bereft of their hereditary role in governance, sought other residences. Several historical palaces were pulled down, but many found other uses, and some restorations have saved their 18th-century appearance. By the late 20th century, most of the more prominent palaces were owned by the city, state, or civic institutions.
During the era of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, the Napoleonic suppression of the monastic religious orders vacated large sectors of real estate in the city. It also freed large amounts of furnishings and works of art into the antiquarian market or into the possession of the state. Large monasteries changed functions: the Santa Maria della Carità complex became a museum, the Gallerie dell’Accademia); the Santa Croce complex, was converted into the Papadopoli Gardens area; and the Santa Lucia complex (partially designed by Palladio) was razed for the establishment of the Santa Lucia Station.
The advent of the Kingdom of Italy restored confidence to the city and led to a resumption of construction along the Grand Canal which has respected its beauty, often reproducing it in Gothic Revival architectures like the Pescaria at Rialto.
Route of Grand Canal
The starting point is set on the northside of the Grand Canal. Looking back at the point of boarding, you can see the long Liberty Bridge. The Ponte della Libertà is a railway and road bridge that connects the historic center of Venice with the mainland. It is the only access route for vehicular traffic to piazzale Roma and the Tronchetto island. The “Ponte della Libertà” that connects Venice to the mainland consists of two side-by-side bridges built in different eras: the railway bridge known as the “great bridge of the Venetian lagoon”, inaugurated on 1846, and the road one called “Ponte Littorio”, inaugurated on 1933.
In the first stage of the journey, you can see some modern style buildings, as well as some functional buildings, including Former Convent of Santa Chiara (Police Headquarters), Railway area, Channel of Santa Chiara, Fondamenta Santa Chiara, Palazzo della Regione Veneto (Former headquarters of the Railway Department).
Part 1: from Constitution Bridge to Scalzi bridge
The bridge of the Constitution is the bridge that crosses the Grand Canal of Venice between piazzale Roma and the Venezia Santa railway station Lucia. The bridge using mainly steel and glass. The arched bridge with a span of 81 meters, a width of 6 meters at the base and 9 in the center for a height of 10 meters at the top; the structure is in steel, the floors in Saint-Gobain glass, Istrian stone and Classic Gray Trachyte from Montemerlo. The parapets are also made of glass, with brass handrails. Inside the handrails are installed LED bulbs that dissipate the ray of light in the glass parapets.
River Novo and River Croce (Left bank)
On the left, you can see the river Novo with a small arch bridge above. Nearby is the Papadopoli gardens, a small public park in the historic center of Venice. It is not very bright both for the fairly dense tree cover and for the presence of evergreen species such as holm oaks, cypresses and cedars. You can see later the Casa Minotti, a 16th century building without facade. You can still se the south-east facing of Palazzo della Regione Veneto (Former headquarters of the Railway Department) on the right bank.
Emo Diedo Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Emo Diedo is an unfinished project 17th century palace, this architecture stands in contrast to the contemporary and dominant Baroque architecture of Baldassarre Longhena. The neoclassical facade highlights the ground floor, a noble floor and an attic of good size, for a total of three floors and a total of twenty holes. On the ground floor, centrally, the portal is flanked by two quadrangular windows, inside a rusticated surface surmounted by a balustrade; the latter corresponds to a balcony with a round three -light window dominated by a large gable. The rest of the facade is simple and unadorned. At the back there is a garden.
Church of San Simeon Piccolo (Left bank)
The church of Santi Simeone and Giuda, one of the best-known churches in the city, at least as regards its external appearance, as it clearly style differently from the other buildings, the first Venetian building with a classic atmosphere that travellers arriving from the railway station or visiting the Grand Canal can see. With the striking circular dome, the building is often referred to as a Venetian re-edition of the Pantheon in Rome. The building looks like a cylindrical and narrow body with a dome (20 m diameter) covered in copper and a Corinthian pronaos with a triangular tympanum where there is a marble bas-relief The martyrdom of the titular saints by Francesco Cabianca of the XVIII century. The dome has an oval shape in height which gives the complex a slight vertical thrust accentuated by the lantern in the shape of a small temple.
Adoldo Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Adoldo is the headquarters of INAIL. The façade is spread over three floors plus a mezzanine in the attic. On the ground floor, remodeled, there are simple rectangular openings on white stone. The two noble floors are instead characterized by a pair of single -light windows on each side (between those on the first floor there are two bas-reliefs), inserted in stone frames, and by a central mullioned window, supported by Ionic columns and closed by a parapet, in stone on the first floor, wrought iron on the second. The attic is characterized by a peculiar rise in which a lunette above three paired square windows is inscribed. On its top a statuette representing an eagle.
Santa Lucia station (Right bank)
The station of Venice Saint Lucia, one of the largest and busiest stations of Italy. It has 22 log tracks and is connected to the mainland via the Liberty Bridge. The atrium currently houses several commercial spaces.
Foscari Contarini Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Foscari Contarini built in the 16th century, has undergone numerous alterations in the following centuries. Palazzo Foscari Contarini is a U-shaped complex with two facades overlooking the Grand Canal, between which a boundary wall forms the boundary of the internal courtyard. The Renaissance style of the building is highlighted above all, as regards the right-hand façade, by the arcades of the loggia on the first noble floor, which form a large balustraded pentaphora; the left side, on the other hand, more unadorned towards the canal, where three single -lancet windows in a stone frame with balustrade open, presents a series of round arches on the facade overlooking the courtyard, according to the motif characterizing the right wing.
Church of Santa Maria di Nazareth (Left bank)
The church of Santa Maria di Nazareth, or church of the Scalzi, is a religious building in the city of Venice from the early 18th century. The facade was erected by Giuseppe Sardi, between 1672 and 1680. The style is a late Venetian Baroque, divided into two orders and punctuated by coupled columns. The four statues of the first order, the Madonna and Child placed on the pediment, and Santa Caterina da Siena in the niche to the left of the Madonna are by Bernardo Falconi. The niche on the right was occupied by a statue of St. Thomas Aquinas by Falconi himself.
Part 2: from Scalzi bridge to Rialto bridge
The Scalzi Bridge takes its name from the nearby church of the Scalzi. The single arch bridge entirely in Istrian stone, without the use of armor, reinforced concrete or iron parts, the bridge was put in place with the use of a special metal rib and applying the method of so-called “systematic lesions”. The parapet, internally hollow and openable, contains the pipes.
Calbo Crotta Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Calbo Crotta dates back to the fourteenth century. The building is a complex developed in length and three floors high with a mezzanine in the attic. The façade on the canal is plastered in white, stylistically divided into two equally structured parts: both have rows of single-light windows, in the center of which, on the two noble floors, the presence of three-light windows is emphasized, those on the right side with a stone parapet. The style of the left side is Gothic, with ogival openings; that on the right side is typically Renaissance, with round arch openings. On the ground floor there is a terrace overlooking the first stretch of the Grand Canal.
Church of San Simeone Profeta (Left bank)
After river Marin, Casa Nigra, you can see the church of San Simeone Profeta on the left bank. The current building is flanked on the left by a portico (sotoportego) and has a basilica plan. The façade, in neoclassical style, dates back to 1861.
Seriman Palace (Right bank)
Seriman Palace is a Venice palazzo located in the district of Cannaregio, a building of considerable size which foreshadows the transition from late Gothic to Renaissance. Examples are the geometric partition of the openings, the capitals of the four- lancet window on the noble floor now almost Renaissance style, the mezzanine windows are already from the sixteenth century as is the earth portal on the salizada, but they coexist with the acute trefoil arches or with the splendid twist of the column of the corner on the river. An uncovered staircase where there is now a partially walled Serliana in the facade on the river.
Flangini Palace (Right bank)
After the Seguso House, there is Flangini Palace on the right bank. Palazzo Flangini was built in the 17th century. The building has a long and narrow facade but the asymmetry of the façade is clearly visible. The architect Giuseppe Sardi wanted a subdivision into three horizontal orders for the main facade to give it a sense of symmetry, but for mysterious reasons he never managed to give the very symmetry he was looking for so much. On the façade facing the Grand Canal, it has a water portal decorated with two male figures languidly leaning on the arch, two noble floors with single and four lateral mullioned windows supported by composite and Ionic semi- columnswhich are joined by continuous projecting balconies and decorated with arched heads. Inside it preserves architectural elements of great value together with precious decorations of the eighteenth century. The portego is completely moved to the left, like that of Ca ‘Tron: in this case, however, the windows are unable to hide the construction differences.
Donà Balbi Palace (Left bank)
After the Ca ‘Polacco, Gritti Palace, Corner Palace of Biasio, there is Palazzo Donà Balbi on the left bank. The current building was built in the seventeenth century most likely by combining three adjacent buildings. Owned by the Province of Venice, the building is the seat of the Regional Scholastic Office. The sober plastered façade is divided into three parts with the particularity that the one on the right is the main one, presenting the only access door and with four-light windows with balconies on both the two noble floors flanked by a single lancet window. The other two parts are instead characterized by three single-light windows, with those on the left that are not homogeneously positioned. All the openings are with round arches surmounted by frames.
Sanctuary of Lucia (Right bank)
After the School of the Dead, there is Sanctuary of Lucia on the right bank. The sanctuary of Lucia, an important building of worship, which houses numerous works of art and the mortal remains of Saint Lucia of Syracuse, to whom it is dedicated together with San Geremia. The church was built in the 11th century, and rebuilt several times. The exposed brick bell tower (perhaps dating back to the 12th century) has two narrow Romanesque mullioned windows at the base. From the Grand Canal you can read this inscription on the wall of the apse of the church: “VIRGIN LUCY OF SYRACUSE MARTYL OF CHRIST IN THIS TEMPLE REST TO ITALY TO THE WORLD IMPLORE LIGHT PEACE”
Labia Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Labia is a building baroque of the district of Cannaregio in Venice, built between the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Flanked to the church of San Geremia, the building is located near the confluence of the Cannaregio Canal in the Grand Canal, to which addresses the two facades oldest; the third façade looks onto Campo San Geremia. The facades on the canals, variously attributed to Andrea Cominelli, Alessandro Tremignon and his son Paolo, are based on models by Longhena. They have a Doric ashlar ground floor and upper floors of Ionic and Corinthian order with windows decorated with masks and continuous balconies. Sull ‘ penthouse are carved the eagles araldiche, alternated with oculi ovals. The façade on the campo, built around 1730, takes up, simplifying it, the style of the other two.
Querini Palace (Right bank)
After the Cannaregio Canal, Emo Palace, there is Querini Palace on the right bank. Palazzo Querini Papozze was characterized by a very large but simple and functional white facade, this building is characterized by a succession of simple rectangular openings and a large rear garden. The main front, on the whole of very little architectural value and overlooking the Grand Canal, is bordered by a private foundation: it was built after the fire of 1815, diverging with its seriality from any other. It has forty-three windows and three doors. Of the ancient building only a well in the courtyard and a porch facing the back remain. The Querini coat of arms on the facade is a modern copy. The large rear garden has among its peculiarities a bridge built during the nineteenth centuryin a style full of references to Chinese taste, in accordance with the fashion of the time.
Church of San Zan Degolà (Left bank)
After the Zen Palace, Marcello Toderini Palace, Rizzoli House, there is Church of San Zan Degolà on the left bank. The building is one of the rare examples of Venetian – Byzantine architecture which has remained fairly intact in its original conception up to the present day. Only the facade and the squat bell tower have different shapes having been rebuilt in the eighteenth century (the original tower was roughly in the center of the field).
Correr Contarini Zorzi Palace (Right bank)
After the Campiello del Remer, there is Correr Contarini Zorzi Palace on the right bank. Palazzo Correr Contarini Zorzi was built in 1678. The majestic 17th-century façade is characterized by the presence of two imposing monumental water portals, marked by arched heads and composed of a main opening surrounded by four quadrangular windows: their position centra. The are two noble floors, of equal importance and of the same design: they are characterized by the presence of a trifora to all sixth with balcony, shifted to the left and flanked by pairs of single lancet, which also continue on part of the side facade. Bands in Istrian stone highlight the symmetrical and harmonious arrangement of the elements, highlighting in particular the precision of the design. The white balustrade, which borders an extensive terrace and is supported by a serrated frame.
Gritti Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Gritti was heavy renovation in the 17th century, when the opening parts was radically changed, but not the dimensions. The facade, which is composed of three levels, presents, on the ground floor, a large portal to all sixth, with direct access to the channel. The two noble floors, having a symmetrical structure, are opened by a pair of single -light windows on each side, with a five-light window in the center; these openings are all equipped with stone parapets. To the right of the main body, a smaller building belongs to the complex of Palazzo Gritti: three floors, with a portico supported by columns on the ground floor; on the façade there are two bas-reliefs, depicting the coats of arms of the Gritti and Dandolo, who were the noble owners respectively.
Memmo Martinengo Mandelli Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Memmo Martinengo Mandelli was built during the 18th century and renovated during 19th century. Characterized by having the most important opening for each of the three levels (window wider than the others or portal) moved to the left side of the façade, its facade appears divided into levels thanks to the use of cornices and bands in Istrian stone, that connect sills, windows, lintels. The ground floor is rusticated. The palace develops in depth and has both a central courtyard and a garden.
Natural History Museum (Left bank)
After the Palazzo Foscarini Giovanelli, House in Calle di Ca ‘Correr, House on the Corte San Martin, Casa Saccardo and Casa Correr, there is Fondaco dei Turchi on the left bank. Fondaco dei Turchi, which known as the Natural History Museum of Venice. The Fontego dei Turchi is a two-storey building, restore from a warehouse, some elements of the typical structure of the warehouse and of the Venetian- Byzantine stylistic design that characterized the Venetian architecture of the thirteenth century are still legible. The façade has a ground floor marked by ten round arches and a loggia with eighteen smaller arches, inspired by the old façade. On the sides Berchet added two turrets, articulated on three levels. The whole facade is dominated by battlements, which were absent before the reconstruction. Many of the decorations (patera, sculptures, frames) used in the restoration are recycled materials or fake sculptures made inspired by Byzantine architecture. The rooms of the building overlook a central courtyard with a portico on the ground floor.
Church of San Marcuola (Right bank)
The church of San Marcuola was built in the 12th century. On the Grand Canal, can only see the outer wall without facade. After the restructuring by the architect Giorgio Massari, the church now has a single square nave covered by a barrel vault. An octagonal spire was also added during the renovation of the church.
Fondaco del Megio (Left bank)
After the river of Fondaco dei Turchi, there is Fondaco del Megio on the left bank. Built in the 13th century by the Republic of Venice, the Fontego was initially a grain warehouse. It currently houses an elementary school. Facade of the most unadorned of the Grand Canal, the Fontego del megio is a typical warehouse structure. The opening is made up of three small rectangular portals and thirteen small quadrangular openings arranged on three levels. The decoration elements are essentially two: on the top a row of battlements and in the central position a bas-relief with the Lion of St. Mark, a symbol affixed to every public building by the Republic. The current sculpture was a modern reconstruction by Carlo Lorenzetti.
Belloni Battagia Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Belloni Battagia was built on the remains of a pre-existing Gothic construction in the mid 17th century. Two-storey building plus a mezzanine, it has a typically Baroque facade, due to the wealth of sculptural decorations. The ground floor, topped by a balustrade, the center has a large portal to all sixth tympanum. The large noble floor has seven rectangular single-lancet windows inserted in a large game of decorations, including pilasters, two large coats of arms and, above each single lancet window, a broken pediment. Above a string course six small square windows characterize the mezzanine; the attic is crossed, under a notched frame, by a long onefrieze, containing the coat of arms of the Belloni family. On the roof stand two high obelisk- shaped pinnacles in a symmetrical position, a peculiarity that can only be found in a few other buildings in the city, such as Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, also designed by Longhena, or Palazzo Papadopoli.
Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi (Right bank)
After the river of San Marcuola, Volpi House, there is Casa Vendramin Calergi on the right bank. An L-shaped building, Palazzo Vendramin presents one of the most representative facades of the Venetian Renaissance, being a local interpretation of the Albertian Palazzo Rucellai in Florence and of the rhythmic truss that Alberti had used in Mantua. The architectural game creates a successful effect by means of the contrast of light and shadow. The façade is composed of three levels, divided by pronounced string courses, in turn supported by semi-columns with superimposed orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. Five large mullioned windows, with an uneven rhythm (three side by side in the center, two more isolated on the sides), enliven the façade of each floor, giving it the appearance of a two-storey loggia, which is also reflected in the ground floor, where instead of the central window is the portal.
These mullioned windows are derived from the fusion of two single-arched windows, in turn enclosed by a semicircle. Between the two there is a circular window, reminiscent of the peripheral ones of Palazzo Corner Spinelli, from which it distances itself by design. Unlike Venetian Gothic and Late Gothic palaces, it is the architectural frame that dominates the facade, subordinating the sober polychrome inlays and decorative elements. The motto of the Knights Templar of the Ordo Templi Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam (“Not to us, oh Lord, not to us, but to your name gives glory”) is engraved on the panels under the sill of the base. The text is the translation of the middle verses of Psalm 113 (Ancient Vulgate) or of theincipit of psalm 115 (according to the Hebrew numbering) 114 of the Bible. In front of the seventeenth-century wing (called White Wing), to the right of the main block of the building, the building boasts a discreet garden overlooking the front facades, also accessible from the canal through a gate whose pillars are dominated by two large statues.
Ca ‘Tron (Left bank)
After the river of Ca ‘Tron, there is Tron palace on the left bank. Ca ‘Tron is owned by the IUAV University of Venice and is home to the historic Faculty of Urban Planning and Territory Planning. Built in the second half of the 16th century, the building, whose plan is “U”, consists of the ground floor, a mezzanine and two noble floors: the latter, unlike the first, have a surface in Istrian stone. The façade is asymmetrical, the left side being less extended: the portal and the central openings of the noble floors are therefore moved to the left of the axis. The opening of the noble floors, divided by a string course, is made up of eight round – arched windows, with the four central ones joined to make a four-light window. On the small rear facade of Ca ‘Tron, which overlooks the garden with a well in the center, there are two mullioned windowsround arch with balustrade on the noble floors, on the ground floor a single opening divided by two columns.
Church of San Stae (Left bank)
After Duodo Palace, Priuli Bon Palace, there is Church of San Stae on the left bank. The Baroque façade was built according to the 1709 design by Domenico Rossi.The structure is divided into three parts by a giant order of semi-columns placed on high bases and ended at the sides by two short wings, lower and slightly set back, in the minor order. From the top of the extreme wings of the wings, formed by pillars and semi-columns placed directly on the plinth, a rhythmic entablature starts which intertwines the facade to form the base of the portal tympanum. The central part is crowned by the tympanum pierced by an elaborate rose window. The three of the acroteric statues of the tympanum, Faith, Hope and the Redeemer in the center are certainly attributed to the latter author. At the top of the wings there are two other statues: the one on the left is Charity, a sculpture attributed to Paolo Callalo. Instead the other female figure on the right is currently difficult to identify.
At the center of the façade is the portal complex formed by an arch surrounded by semi-columns and semi-pillars that repeat the motif of the wings by grafting directly onto the base and the steps. The complex culminates in a pediment with a broken tympanum surmounted, in the center, by an animated marble group of the glory of angels that supports a scroll depicting the miracle of the conversion of Eustachio and, on the sides, by the calm allegorical figures of Patience and of Meekness. A daring cherub with a cartouche emerges from the keystone of the arch, probably a work by Giuseppe or Paolo Groppelli. On the sides of the façade two niches with the statues of Sant’Osvaldo and San Sebastiano surmounted, beyond the entablature, by two bas-reliefs with the stories of the martyrdom of Eustachio: Eustachio and his family spared by the fiere and the Martyrdom of Eustachio and his family in the red-hot bronze bull.
River of San Marcuola and River of Maddalena (Right bank)
After the Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi, before the river of Maddalena, there are many small palaces in this area, Palazzo Marcello, Molin Erizzo Palace, Soranzo Piovene Palace, Palazzo Emo alla Maddalena, Molin Querini Palace.
After the river of Maddalena, there is Palazzetto and Palazzo Barbarigo, Zulian Palace, Ruoda Palace, Casa Velluti and Palazzo Gussoni Grimani Della Vida.
Ca ‘Pesaro (Left bank)
After School of Tiraoro and Battioro, river of Rioda, Palazzo Coccina Giunti Foscarini Giovannelli, river of Pergola, there is Ca ‘Pesaro on the left bank, which known as the the International Gallery of Modern Art and the Oriental Art Museum of Venice. Ca ‘Pesaro overlooks the Grand Canal and is considered one of the most important Venetian palaces due to its size, its decorative quality and its grandeur: the allegories of the ceilings are made by Giambattista Pittoni, the main facade in Baroque style, embellished with bas-reliefs and statues with a strong plastic connotation and capable of creating important chiaroscuro, it makes it unique. The ground floor has a very protruding diamond ashlar decoration that surrounds a double water portal. The main floors are characterized by the presence of seven heavily decorated round arches, separated by protruding columns that double at the load-bearing walls.
No less important is the slightly curved side facade, designed only at a later time: it has a dynamic component that contrasts with the static nature of the main one and appears simpler than the latter. From the sumptuousness of the exterior one can well imagine the original richness of the rooms and halls of which, however, almost nothing remains apart from a few frescoes and decorations. The building, in the original project, had to be clearly divided into two parts (one for representation and one for service) by a monumental staircase parallel to the course of the Grand Canal: Antonio Gaspari instead made it perpendicular to it, leaning it on one side of the portego. Antonio Gaspari also modified the design of the courtyard.
River of Noale (Right bank)
After river of Noale, there are some small palaces on the right bank, include House from Lezze, Palazzo Boldù Ghisi Contarini, Contarini Pisani Palace, Levi Morenos house.
Ca ‘Corner della Regina (Left bank)
After river of Ca ‘Pesaro, Donà Palace, Correggio Palace, there is Ca ‘Corner della Regina on the left bank. The palace was built in the 18th century. It is a modulated building on three levels, but particularly slender also due to the presence of two mezzanines, in the attic and between the ground and first floors. The main portal, in a central position, is rounded and developed in height, on a rusticated background that characterizes the first level and the mezzanine, inspired by the Renaissance facades. The first of the two noble floors is crossed by a balustrade, above which there are seven single – arched lancet windows with a mask in key, between which there are Ionic semi- columns.
A large string eaves divides this level from the second noble floor, which presents the seven windows regularly arranged, here however rectangular in shape and each surmounted by a tympanum; between them are symmetrically interposed large Corinthian semi- columns, which also affect the mezzanine, at the level of which they rest on sections of architrave, in turn resting on the thin cornice of the roof. The latter, in a central position, has two dormers.
Fontana Rezzonico Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Fontana Rezzonico is a palace, located between the confluence of the Rio di San Felice and the Palazzo Miani Coletti Giusti. The building was built according to the Renaissance style but with the passage of time it has also taken on characteristics referable to the Baroque. At first glance, the facade presents a very pronounced asymmetry. On the ground floor there are two water portals: the main one is centrally positioned under the four -light window on the main floor while the secondary, smaller in size, is positioned on the far right of the facade. The first and second noble floors are almost identical, with the multi-lancet windows flanked by two single-lancet windows on the left and four on the right, all with round arches and projecting balconies. On the roof stand two small obelisks built almost entirely in terracotta.
Miani Coletti Giusti Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Miani Coletti Giusti characterized by a linear greenish facade, the work of Antonio Visentini, the building is spread over four floors and is characterized by some peculiarities, such as the presence of four water portals surrounded by Doric semi- columns and separated by three niches containing statues depicting men of the time, of numerous single-lancet windows that replace the typical multi-lancet windows of the noble floors (even if the tight rhythm of the composition so thins the distance between the central lancet windows that it makes them appear as a single multi-lancet window), of a particularly marked eaves a thick arch, an imposing dormer window and two terraces with balustrades with columns. Overall, there are various allusions to the style promoted byAndrea Palladio. The second noble floor is characterized by the presence of two circular niches closed in triangular tympanums.
Ca ‘d’Oro (Right bank)
The Ca ‘d’Oro, whose name derives from the fact that originally parts of the façade were covered with gold trim that was part of a complex polychromy, considered one of the greatest examples of Venetian flowery Gothic. Since 1927 it has been used as a museum as the seat of the Franchetti Gallery. The façade is characterized by the marked asymmetry between the left side, in which three perforated bands overlap (portico for mooring boats on the ground floor and loggias on the upper floors), and the right wing, in which the covered masonry prevails. of precious marbles with single isolated square openings; the cause of this specificity is to be attributed to the small size of the lot, which did not allow the construction of the left wing of the building. A frieze from the previous Zeno residence has been inserted between the left and right sides of the façade. The only element that gives continuity to the façade, conditioning and dominating it, is the large cornice with the battlements above.. To close it on the sides there are triple twisted columns that form like codons on the edges of the facade, completely disconnected from the crowning.
The portico on the ground floor is open with five large arches over the water, with the central one dilated with respect to the others, so as to be lowered, taking up the arcades of Byzantine origin. It is reminiscent of the thirteenth-century house of the Zeno family, and does not present any significant novelties. Between the portico on the water and the internal one there is a four-light window of considerable interest, the work of Giovanni Bono: double twisted columns separate the openings; aligned with the columns, above them, cross-shaped tracery; on the extrados of the arches of the openings two quadrilobes.
On the upper floor, the loggia of Reverti, composed of an exaphor which is instead a novelty for the time, as above the quadrilobes, aligned with the vertices of the arches of the openings, we find semi-quadrilobes, with which the Raverti obtained a vivid chiaroscuro effect, embellishment by the moldings. The capitals of the columns with fat leaves that rise in a spiral are reinterpreted in an unprecedented way, breaking the classic Venetian coeval symmetry. Even the balustradesbetween the columns they have a strong decorative spirit. The loggia on the top floor is composed of a further exaphor with cross-shaped openings aligned with the columns, just like in the four-light window on the ground floor, although in this case we find a semi-quadrilobium aligned with the vertices of the arches of the openings in place of the two quadrilobes.
Morosini Brandolin Palace (Left bank)
After Favretto House, river of San Cassiano, Lona Palace, Foroni Palace, there is Morosini Brandolin Palace on the left bank. Palazzo Morosini Brandolin located at opposite the Ca ‘d’Oro palace. The building is an example of Venetian flowery Gothic. The current façade has an ashlar ground floor with two portals and two noble floors composed of central hexaphores and pairs of lateral single-light windows. On the first floor the hexaphores are pointed arches while on the second floor they have the typical arches with perforated quadrilobes.
Michiel from the Columns Palace (Right bank)
After Palazzo Giustinian Pesaro, Morosini Sagredo Palace, Campo Santa Sofia and ferry, Palazzetto Foscari, there is Michiel from the Columns Palace on the right bank. This area where the Rialto market is held. The building, with its perfectly symmetrical shapes, consists of three levels plus a mezzanine in the attic. The main floors are two, of similar size and structure. The façade of Palazzo Michiel is in Baroque style, but is influenced by the Venetian-Byzantine tradition in its most peculiar feature, the portico on the ground floor: this is the only part of the eighteenth-century façade that recalls the features of the old palace; however, the alterations in the presence, among the six round arches supported by columns, of a serliana, one of the most used architectural elements by Gaspari. The serliana theme recurs on the noble floors, where there are two superimposed ones, between pairs of rectangular single, lancet windows all topped by very particular tympanums: each one is in fact broken centrally to house stone busts. All the openings in the façade, including the portico and the six small single-lancet windows of the mezzanine, are closed by a balustrade.
Civran Palace (Right bank)
There many small palaces between river of Santi Apostoli to river of San Giovanni Crisostomo. After Palazzo Michiel del Brusà, Smith Mangilli Valmarana Palace, Ca ‘Da Mosto, Dolfin Palace and Palazzetto, Palazzo Bolani Erizzo, Campiello del Remer the Lion Palace, Remer Palace, Sernagiotto house, there is Civran Palace on the right bank. The Civran family owned this building from the 14th century to which it gave different stylistic forms in the alterations that took place over the years. Currently the building is state-owned and is the seat of the Guardia di Finanza, as can also be seen from the colors of the body applied to the mooring poles.
Built in the 14th century, the shapes of the current structure are the result of the last major restoration which took place towards the first half of the 17th century, when the building took on the architectural style of the Late Renaissance. The ground floor is in ashlar with a central arched water portal with a keystone in the shape of a human head; the mezzanine consists of four openings much higher than the norm and equipped with a metal railing. The main floor has a central single lancet window almost equal to the water portal below and two pairs of lateral lancet windows, all of which are joined by a single projecting balcony. The second floor, of a lower elevation, is made up of five identical single-lancet windows aligned with the five on the main floor and with single balconies. All the openings on the first and second floors, except the central one on the noble floor, are surmounted by triangular tympanums.
Camerlenghi Palace (Left bank)
After the building of Oil Foundation, then the river of Beccarie, then an a large area own by Campo della Pescaria, and the large factories of Rialto on the left bank, there is Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, at the foot of the Rialto Bridge. It was built between 1525 and 1528, as the seat of financial magistracies. Today it keep function as financial magistracies, as the seat of the regional section of the Court of Auditors. The palace develops with a pentagonal plan to follow the curve of the Grand Canal and, in height, on three floors. It has tall windows arched separated by pilasters and crowned with interesting decorations. As a “treasure chest” of the state, it was externally enriched with polychrome marble and porphyry, lost over time.
Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Right bank)
After Perducci House, Ruzzini Palace, river of Fontego dei Tedeschi, there is Fondaco dei Tedeschi on the right bank, adjacent to the Rialto Bridge. The building has long been owned by the Italian Post Office. After underwent a new static and functional restoration project, conversion into a also of a cultural center. Exterior A large complex overlooking the Rialto Bridge, the Fontego is a square-plan building arranged on three levels around an internal courtyard, covered by a glass and steel structure, where the ancient well is preserved. On the ground floor five large round arches close a portico in dialogue with the Grand Canal, where goods were unloaded. The second level is crossed by a long row of double lancet and lancet windows which correspond symmetrically minor quadrangular windows of the two floors above.
Part 3: from Rialto bridge to Accademia Bridge
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest and certainly the most famous. As the first bridge to span both sides of the Grand Canal, it has undergone several reconstructions in the same location, and has been transformed from a wooden pontoon bridge to a current stone bridge. The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, began to be constructed in 1588 and was completed in 1591. Two ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico, the covered ramps carry rows of shops. Because the span is huge, the engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious at that time.
Dolfin Manin Palace (Right bank)
After Riva del Ferro, there is Dolfin Manin Palace, under the Rialto bridge. Palazzo Dolfin Manin hosting the Venice branch of the Bank of Italy. The façade, work realized in the years 1538 – 1547 the great architect Jacopo Sansovino (former author of the Grand Canal from Palazzo Corner), is characterized by brilliant white Istrian stone and the large openings to all sixth. The portico on the ground floor is made up of six arches, whose seven supporting pillars correspond to the seven Ionic and Corinthian half columns of the two upper floors. The two main floors have the same opening, consisting on the sides of a pair of windows, each corresponding to an arch on the ground floor, and centrally by a four-light window. The appearance of the building appears in this rigorous way. Above, the facade is closed by a large serrated cornice.
Bembo Palace (Right bank)
After the river of San Salvador, there is Bembo Palace on the right bank. Built by the patrician Bembo family in the 15th century, today the building is home to a hotel business and an exhibition space for contemporary art. The facade of Ca ‘Bembo, an excellent example of unification between several buildings through the use of various expedients including the presence of a continuous balcony, has a clear Venetian Gothic appearance, with its three levels of ogival windows: of these, the pairs of five -light windows on the noble floor and the upper floor, with their simple appearance, assume particular importance. The levels are separated by stone frames carved in bas-relief. Inside there is a seventeenth-century staircase overlooking the internal courtyard that leads to the noble floor, where there are decorations dating back to the same century, in Baroque style. The portego, that is the reception hall, develops in correspondence with the right multi-light window.
Ca ‘Loredan (Right bank)
After Rialto ferry station, Palazzetto Dandolo, there is Ca ‘Loredan on the right bank. Together with the adjacent Ca ‘Farsetti, it is the seat of the town hall of the lagoon city. Founded in the 13th century, Palazzo Loredan is a building whose oldest nucleus is in the Venetian-Byzantine style, being among the buildings on the Grand Canal that most preserve its traces despite the renovations. The ground floor has a central portico closed by five raised arches, supported by four Corinthian columns, above which, on the noble floor, there is seven windows in the same style. On the two sides of the portico, symmetrically, there are two round windows, which correspond to a three-light window on the main floor. This hole is closed by Byzantine decorationsmostly circular in shape. The second noble floor, which, albeit at the rear, tries to emulate the style of the first, is characterized by a large central multi-lancet window, echoed by lateral single-light windows. The building, whose right side is characterized by the presence of numerous single lancet windows and the earth portal, is distinguished by having four overpasses that connect it to Ca ‘Farsetti.
Ca ‘Farsetti (Right bank)
Ca ‘Farsetti, together with the adjacent Ca ‘Loredan, it is the seat of the town hall of the lagoon city. The façade of Palazzo Farsetti has a building on three levels plus a mezzanine: the first two are those of the original nucleus, with the Venetian-Byzantine-style loggia at the level of the canal; the second floor and the mezzanine are the result of Renaissance works. The ground floor has a central portico closed by five round arches, supported by four Corinthian columns, structurally similar to that of the adjacent Ca ‘Loredan, to which Ca’ Farsetti is connected, on the left side, through an “overpass”. The main floor of the façade is characterized by fifteen round openings with, to mark the two levels, a long balustrade.
Giustinian Businello Palace (Left bank)
Many small palaces gathered near the foot of the Rialto Bridge, after Palazzo dei Dieci Savi, Riva del Vin, Casa In Riva del Vin, Church of San Silvestro, Casa Ravà, Palazzo Chiurlotto, Barzizza Palace, Lanfranchi Palace, there is Giustinian Businello Palace on the left bank. The façade of Palazzo Giustinian still allows us to glimpse the characteristics of the Venetian – Byzantine warehouse, despite the tampering that took place between the 15th and 19th centuries. To testify the original layout, the portal remains, once part of the portico with access to the canal on the ground floor and, centrally on the two noble floors, overlapping hexaphors with balustrades. Some ancient bas-reliefs also survive. The remaining openings, single lancet windows arranged symmetrically with respect to the central ones, and the third floor, with the third hexaphor, are the result of more recent renovations and modifications.
Grimani Palace in San Luca (Right bank)
After Cavalli Palace, there is Palazzo Grimani, an imposing Renaissance buliding. In 1881 it was selected to be the seat of the Court of Appeal. The white facade, inspired by Roman architecture, is divided by robust string eaves into three sectors. The ground floor and mezzanine, characterized by the presence of a water portal with a triumphal arch and imposing fluted columns supporting a monumental continuous balcony, appear less luminous than the upper floors. The two victories are exceptionally valuablethat decorate the upper part of the portal, the work of Alessandro Vittoria. The theme of the triumphal arch is also taken up on the upper floors, where it is repeated flanked by a further arch. All the openings of the noble floors are decorated with coupled non-fluted columns in Corinthian order. The floor plant, anomalous as it is characterized by the pyramidal shape of the site, develops around a central atrium with three arches of classic taste much admired by Andrea Palladio, which correspond to the two upper floors porteghi.
Papadopoli Palace (Left bank)
After the river of Meloni, there is Palazzo Papadopoli. The building is L-shaped and consists of three floors with mezzanine. The symmetrical façade presents the three levels well highlighted by two string eaves: the more imposing one divides the two noble floors, while a less important one divides the second noble floor from the attic. It is one of the most majestic and balanced facades of those facing the Grand Canal. It is characterized by a decoration in Istrian stone and by the superimposition of several Serlians. On the ground floor there is a large portal to all sixth, in whose frame are containing two pairs of monofore square overlapping.
The two noble floors, in correspondence with the portal, are embellished with a serliana with a balustrade: that of the first floor is marked by four semi-columns, that of the second floor by pilasters. The balustrades are not the same as the lower one, unlike that of the second noble floor, has an overhang. Moreover, the portal of the ground floor, the serliana of the first noble floor, and that of the second, respectively, are decorated with decorations in Doric, Ionic and Corinthian order. In addition to the Serliana, each noble floor has four single-lancet windows surmounted by a tympanumdetected. They are triangular on the first floor and curvilinear on the second. The apparatus that enriches this monumental facade is truly rich. On the first noble floor there are two embossed coats of arms. Finally, there are seven small oval openings in the attic (with cartouche decorations) and, on the roof, two obelisk- shaped pinnacles, peculiarities of a few other Venetian facades, such as Palazzo Belloni Battagia and Palazzo Giustinian Lolin.
Corner Contarini dei Cavalli Palace (Right bank)
After the river of San Luca, there is Palazzo Corner Contarini dei Cavalli is a palace in Venice. The construction of the current building presumably dates back to the mid 15th century. The building is attributable to the Venetian flowery Gothic style but has different architectural styles on the various floors as it was subject to various renovations over the centuries. The ground floor has a seventeenth-century rustication with a central water door made in Serliana; the main floor maintains its original appearance with an exaphor with trefoil arches surmounted by quadrilobes and lateral single lancet windows that recall the style of the façade of Palazzo Ducale while the second floor, which is a nineteenth-century elevation, develops with a three-light, of which the central one is wider than the others, and two pairs of lateral single-lancet windows with round arches. All the openings have a protruding balcony, except for the two side windows of the multi-lancet window on the main floor.
Bernardo Palace (Left bank)
After Donà della Trezza Palace, Donà della Madoneta Palace, the river of Madoneta, there is Bernardo Palace on the left bank. Palazzo Bernardo was built in the first half of the 15th century in the typically Venetian late Gothic style. The façade on the Grand Canal is obviously tripartite: enclosed between corner cornices in Istrian stone, it is notable above all for the presence of two very elegant exhaphorae on the first and second floor and for the smaller four-light window on the top floor. All decorative levels are marked by elegant string courses. The most curious aspects of the façade, however, are the presence of two water portals (which suggests a two-family use of the Palazzo) and the misalignment of the lower hexaphor, which appears to be subordinate to that of the second floor.
Anna Viaro Martinengo Volpi di Misurata palace (Right bank)
After Tron Palace, there is Palazzo D’Anna Viaro Martinengo Volpi di Misurata. The original palace is built in the Renaissance style in forms that are common to many other palaces in the lagoon city. The stone ground floor has a central water portal and a mezzanine much higher than the norm. The structure develops with a single noble floor with a central four-light window with a round arch, an upper cornice and a single balcony; the side parts have a pair of single -lancet windows of the same style with a single balcony, interspersed with a noble coat of arms in relief. The façade closes with the attic mezzanine with square windows that are positioned above each of the windows below; the main floor and the attic mezzanine are divided by a cornicestring course. The part of the building that was subsequently incorporated, the “fourth” on the left, almost faithfully traces the central facade of the body of the building, except for the presence of two water doors and only two windows in the mezzanine attic.
Curti Valmarana Palace (Right bank)
After Casa Marinoni and Casa De Spirit, Querini Benzon Palace, river of Ca ‘Michiel, Casa Tornielli, there is Curti Valmarana Palace on ther right bank. Palace built in the 18th century. Renaissance style palace with a very balanced and harmonious plastered facade in the arrangement of the windows, it has a central water portal on the ground floor, a central three-light window on the second noble floor with a round arch, of the same type as the water portal with a pair of single -light windows on the sides while all the other openings are rectangular. On the two noble floors, the windows are provided with an upper cornice and the three central openings also have a small balcony.
River of Madoneta, river of San Polo and river of San Tomà (Left bank)
In this part of the journey, the buildings on the left bank are a row of relatively similar small palaces, neat facade decorated with Gothic lattice windows. After river of Madoneta, there is Querini Dubois Palace, Grimani Marcello Palace, Ca ‘Cappello Layard. After river of San Polo, there is Barbarigo Palace of the Terrace, Pisani Moretta Palace, Tiepolo Palace, Soranzo Pisani Palace, Tiepolo Passi Palace, Giustinian Persico Palace. After river of San Tomà, there is Marcello dei Leoni Palace, Dolfin Palace, Palazzo Dandolo, Civran Grimani Palace.
Corner Spinelli Palace (Right bank)
Corner Spinelli Palace in Venice, often referred to as the emblem of the transition from Gothic to Renaissance architecture in Venetian art. The façade on the canal is symmetrical, open to the noble floors by four mullioned windows on each floor and cut by string courses, which highlight the three levels of which the building is composed. Peculiar elements of the architecture of this building are the pear-shaped windows, which divide the two holes of the mullioned windows and the trilobate balconies in a Gothic style.
Mocenigo palaces (Right bank)
After Campiello del Teatro, Salomé Barocci house, the river of Ca ‘Garzoni, Garzoni Palace, Fondaco Marcello, Corner Gheltof Palace, there is Mocenigo palaces on the right bank. The Mocenigo Palaces are an architectural complex, characterized by a long and uneven facade, consists of four buildings: Palazzo Mocenigo Casa Nuova, Palazzo Mocenigo “Il Nero” (consisting of two smaller buildings) and Palazzo Mocenigo Old house. Palazzo Mocenigo “Il Nero” and Palazzo Mocenigo Casa Vecchia.
Palazzo Mocenigo Ca ‘Vecchia is the first building starting from the right. The structure has a simple appearance: the building is spread over four floors, divided by solid frames, of which a ground floor with a water portal flanked by large single-lancet windows, an attic mezzanine and two noble floors very similar in appearance. The absence of a mezzanine between the ground floor and the main floor is highlighted. The noble floors, differentiated only by the different shape of the balcony, projecting only on the first floor, are characterized by a three-light window, each flanked by two pairs of single-light windows with a non-projecting balcony. The key of the various arches is decorated with a human head.
The Mocenigo palaces have a rather simple architectural language, of clear Renaissance matrix: the main floor is the founding element of the composition, flanked on the ground floor and on two mezzanines. It, characterized by a central serliana flanked by single-lancet windows, is repeated according to the same pattern both for one and for the other building, creating a strong feeling of symmetry. The holes are decorated with bas-reliefs. The most valuable element of the composition were the frescoes on the facades, made by Benedetto Caliari and Giuseppe Alabardi. These frescoes, similarly to those present in the other civil buildings in the city, disappeared between the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Mocenigo palaces characterized by a central serliana flanked by single-lancet windows, is repeated according to the same pattern both for one and for the other building, creating a strong feeling of symmetry. The holes are decorated with bas-reliefs.
Palazzo Mocenigo Ca ‘Nova is the building located on the far left of the complex: it is the one that probably has the facade with the greatest visual impact. The façade is characterized by the grandeur of the three central openings: the water portal, surrounded by four small windows, and the two superimposed serlianas, adorned by means of a jutting balcony. On the sides there are large single lancet windows with triangular and curved gables. All the elements are contained in a complex design of frames and profiles, which marks the facade and gives it dynamism. The facade was once dominated by two obelisks, which were later demolished.
Contarini delle Figure Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Contarini delle Figure was built in a style that makes many references to the work of Andrea Palladio. The façade, which combines skilful decorative details, emphasized by effective colors, with a great formal compactness, expressed through a mature expressiveness, appears to be one of the most valuable among those of the palaces overlooking the Grand Canal, while not ignoring the traditional vertical and horizontal tripartition. This effect were able to appreciate the style harmoniously poised between neoclassicism and Venetian Renaissance. The ground floor has a large water portal, flanked by eight single-lancet windows arranged on two levels. The central element of the composition is the central four-light window, marked by fluted Corinthian columns and underlined by the triangular tympanum, whose style is an anticipation of neoclassical architecture. It is taken upstairs in simpler forms without a tympanum and appears surrounded by a series of single-lancet windows with round arches.
Ca ‘Foscari (Left bank)
After the river of Ca ‘Foscari, there is Ca ‘Foscari University on the left bank. The building extended to the edge of the Grand Canal and a second noble floor was added. A simple door was built at the level of the water gate, while a secondary entrance on the public road was added. The most important architectural element is the loggia on the second floor: the eight openings and the quadrilobe frieze with the conclusion in semi-quadrilobes at both ends create the effect of an expansion of the entire facade. Above the polyphora on the second floor there is a stone frieze with the doge’s family coat of arms, and a jousting helmet with the lion with spread wings. A further floor (the third) rises above this second noble floor, inspired by the polyphora on the third floor of the Ca ‘d’Oro. This three-storey solution with multi-lancet windows also creates an expansion towards the other, as well as horizontally.
Moro Lin Palace (Right bank)
After Erizzo Nani Mocenigo Palace, Palace and Palazzetto da Lezze, There is Moro Lin Palace on the right bank. The ground floor has seven round arches emerging from the canal and forming a portego, of which the central one is smaller. The two noble floors and the third eighteenth-century floor are each crossed by thirteen single-lancet windows, between which pilasters act as decoration. The openings of the noble floors, despite being rectangular like those of the third, are inscribed in a rounded recess. The frame that divides the first noble floor from the ground floor is accompanied by a balustrade, while the attic has a serrated cornice.
Grassi-Stucky Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Grassi is one of the most famous lagoon buildings, as well as home to art exhibitions worthy of particular interest: it is famous because it is defined as the last patrician palace overlooking the Grand Canal before the collapse of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. The main façade, in clear neoclassical style, hides a very complex and scenographic plan, inspired more by the Roman model than by the Venetian model. In the center, there is a colonnaded courtyard, similar to that of Palazzo Corner, which divides the structure into two blocks: the front one houses four side rooms and a central hall, while the rear one houses smaller rooms and a sumptuous decorated staircase by Michelangelo Morlaiter and Fabio Canal, similar in shape to that of Palazzo Pisani Moretta.
Returning to the main front, it is clad entirely in Istrian stone and respects the traditional tripartite arrangement: the windows, with a linear appearance and of classical inspiration, are concentrated in a multi- lancet window on each of the noble floors. The holes differ in decoration: those on the first floor are round-arched, while those on the second have gables that are sometimes curved, sometimes triangular. The windows are separated by smooth pilasters culminating in Ionic or Corinthian capitals. It has a water portal divided into three holes, similar to a triumphal arch. The façade is closed by a strip with a corbel cornice, which hides the attic. The side façade, equally imposing, imitates the main one in style, offering a Roman-inspired ground portal and a Serliana. There are numerous single-lancet windows with or without balcony, neatly arranged in pairs.
Ca ‘Rezzonico (Left bank)
After Palazzi Giustinian, Ca ‘Bernardo, Bernardo Nani Palace, there is Ca ‘Rezzonico on the left bank. Ca ‘Rezzonico is one of the most famous palaces of Venice. since 1936 it has become the seat of the Museo del Settecento Veneziano which, in addition to reconstructions of rooms with furniture and furnishings of the time, houses important paintings by Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, Pietro Longhi, Tintoretto, as well as the Tiepolos and numerous terracotta sketches by Giovanni Maria Morlaiter. In the first decade of the 21st century, the Egidio Martini Art Gallery and the Mestrovich Collection were placed inside the Cà Rezzonico.
The façade stands out for its size and its monumentality. It is divided into three important horizontal bands: the ground floor, enriched with ashlar decorations and a three-hole water portal with architrave and two noble floors, characterized by columns and round-arched windows with keystone heads. Each floor ends with coupled columns. The mezzanine attic is characterized by oval single-lancet windows, hidden in the articulated design of the facade. The plan of the building is very complex: it has a large ballroom, which occupies two floors in height, connected to the ground floor by a majestic monumental staircase. Apart from this extraordinary exception, the Palazzo is organized according to a traditional plan: it has a large portego in the center, which overlooks both the Grand Canal and the central courtyard: on both sides there are smaller rooms.
Malipiero Palace (Right bank)
After Church of San Samuele, Casa Francheschinis, San Samuele ferry, there is Malipiero Palace on the right bank. Palazzo Malipiero, built in the Byzantine era, has a very complex structure, due to the fact that each owner has adapted the building to their needs and tastes, bringing together a great variety of architectural styles. The Ca ‘Grande di San Samuele is equipped, each is served by its own staircase, water door and door to the calle, independent. The second noble floor is accessed through the oldest Byzantine portal, while, from the main door, one enters the large seventeenth-century atrium, which leads to the majestic apartment on the first noble floor to which a large monumental courtyard, the canal door and the contiguous eighteenth-century garden. The building reveals the stylistic signs of its multiple architectural nobility, indices of three eras superimposed on each other: the Byzantine, the Gothic and the seventeenth-eighteenth century.
River of San Barnaba, River of Malpaga and River of San Trovaso (Left bank)
During this journey, there are some small palace in different styles with gothic elements on the left bank. After the river of San Barnaba, there is Contarini Michiel Palace, San Barnaba ferry, Palazzetto Stern. After the river of Malpaga, there is House of Othello, Loredan dell’Ambasciatore Palace, Mainella house. After the river of San Trovaso, there is Contarini Palaces of the Scrigni, Contarini Palace Corfu, Mocenigo Gambara Palace, Querini Palace to Charity, and the Great School of Santa Maria della Carità.
River of Duca and River of San Vidal (Right bank)
On the right bank, also some small palace in different styles with gothic elements. After Malipiero Palace, there is Garden of Palazzo Malipiero, Tecchio Mamoli Palace, Ca ‘del Duca. After the river of Duca, there is Palazzo Falier, Giustinian Lolin Palace, Civran Badoer Barozzi Palace, After the river of San Vidal, there is Campo San Vidal.
Part 4: from Accademia Bridge to Returning Point
The Accademia Bridge is the southernmost of the four Venice bridges that cross the Grand Canal. It connects San Vidal to the former Church of Santa Maria della Carità. This bridge with markedly “industrial” style clashed in the context of the city architecture; their height of only 4 meters also created difficulties for the passage of boats. The bridge began to present static problems, the deck wood needs constant and very expensive maintenance. In 1986 it was necessary to completely replace the wooden elements, with the insertion of metal arches able to better support the structure. The Accademia Bridge once was the place to attach “love locks” to the metal hand rails of the bridge by lovers, but now forbidden. The reconstruction project is still in tender status.
Brandolin Rota Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Rota was built in the 17th century. In the 19th century it was adapted to house the Universo hotel, and briefly became the home of the famous soprano Toti Dal Monte. In more recent times, the building has hosted the Union Society Club, one of the last gentlemen’s clubs in Italy. Currently the palace has returned to being a private home. Palazzo Brandolin Rota is a three-storey building, with a mezzanine between the ground floor and the first noble floor. The façade on the canal is simple, with the rounded portal on the water in the center. The two noble floors, from different times, but substantially the same, each have nine round openings, with the five central ones joined to form a pentaphora; it should be noted the presence of balustrades that affect all the openings of the first noble floor and of the second only the pentafora, in correspondence with which the building has a part of the raised and gabled façade, with two square mullioned windows.
Cavalli-Franchetti Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti was built in the second half of the fifteenth century. It is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture, one of the most prestigious of those located in the lagoon city. The façade, which dates back to the 15th century, was however heavily restructured, following the canons of the Venetian neo – Gothic: the external decorative apparatus appears, in fact, far from the formal simplicity typical of many other Venetian Gothic buildings. In particular, the five-light windows of the two noble floors denounce this typicality, characterized by characteristic openwork similar to those of Palazzo Pisani Moretta. The one on the first noble floor is characterized by intertwined arches, decorated with raised quadrilobes compared to the traditional arrangement that sees them close to the capital, and by a central projecting balcony; the one on the second noble floor instead has quadrilobes placed at the apex of the arch and has no balcony. This composition is flanked by numerous other holes, similar to the five-light windows by design.
Balbi Valier Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Balbi Valier initially built in Gothic style, it was replaced by a more modern building in the seventeenth century. It is currently divided into several properties and also houses an art gallery. The tripartite facade of the Palace, built in the seventeenth century, is characterized by the presence of two peculiar buildings projecting chronologically rear in Istrian stone with internal walls curved towards the water portal (formed by three openings) and hosting anomalous facing terraces on the Grand Canal. On the upper floors we find two four-light windows and four pairs of single light windows.
Palazzo Barbaro in San Vidal (Right bank)
Palazzo Barbaro in San Vidal is a complex consisting of two palaces in Venice (Palazzo Barbaro Curtis and Palazzo Barbaro) A perfect example of 14th-15th-century Venetian Gothic style, the old building is a three-storey building with a mezzanine, to which a mezzanine was then added in the attic. The façade is opened by two portals on the ground floor (the left ogival one, the central rectangular one) and on the two noble floors by ogival four-light windows (in a central position), to which flanked by a pair of single – lancet windows, all inserted in a quadrangular stone frame. The decorations on the first noble floor appear more recent than those on the second. Characteristic paterae and tiles are inserted to embellish the surface visible from the Grand Canal.
Palazzo Barbaro, the new part, the more narrow and high, is a building baroque four-storey facade, which is characterized on the second noble floor by a perforated patterns consisting of four openings to all sixth, with mask in key and balustrade: the two plants are gathered in form a mullioned window. Another round mullioned window is located on the third floor, under the small pediment that centrally dominates the facade.
Barbarigo Palace (Left bank)
After Loredan Cini Palace, river of San Vio, Campo San Vio, there is Barbarigo Palace. Palazzo Barbarigo was built in the 16th century, at the height of the Renaissance. From the 20th century it became the headquarters of Pauly & C. – Compagnia Venezia Murano, a glass company. Palazzo Barbarigo is a typically sixteenth-century building, of modest size and three floors high, well highlighted by the design of the facade. This, on the ground floor opens onto the canal by means of a loggia, whose two arches allow access from the water to the portego. The two noble floors, with the same opening, have round openings, among which the central four-light window with balustrade stands out. A thin notched frame crowns the building. The building has a facade of the most characteristic of the Grand Canal, is distinguished by its cover mosaic in Murano glass. However, this intervention compromised the original appearance of the building, a technique which, unlike the mosaic, is subject to rapid deterioration.
Palaces Da Mula Morosini and Centani Morosini (Left bank)
Palazzo da Mula Morosini and Palazzo Centani Morosini was built in the 15th century as a noble residence. Palazzo Da Mula Morosini is a typical gothic facade, Palazzo Da Mula is arranged on four floors. The ground floor, unadorned, has small lancet windows and two portals to all sixth in the middle, opened directly on the Grand Canal. The two noble floors and the third floor are distinguished by the beauty of the three quadrifore ogive (that of the second plane with the projection of a balcony). Palazzo Centani Morosini is spread over four floors and has a reduced decorative system, characterized by a prevalence of single -light windows: regular and rectangular openings on the ground floor and first floor and more complex openings on the upper floors. The main floor has in fact two single-lancet windows and a slightly projecting balcony, as well as a minor lancet window on the right side, while the top floor is characterized by regular single-lancet windows.
Ca ‘Biondetti (Left bank)
Ca ‘Biondetti is a civil building, inhabited for a long time by the Biondetti family, became the residence of the eighteenth-century portrait painter Rosalba Carriera, known for the precision of her touch and the magnificence of her colors. The architecture does not present elements of particular importance: the building appears as the sum of two connected bodies and for this reason it is distinguished by two water gates. On the first floor there are two balconies while a lookout tower rises above the roof of the building.
Venier dei Leoni Palace (Left bank)
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni is was designed in the mid- 18th century, but only part of the ground floor was built. In 1948 Peggy Guggenheim bought the palace, starting in 1949, for a small but precious collection of contemporary art, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The structure of a single plane, which is also unfinished, is presented on the Grand Canal with a facade in ashlar in Istrian stone, with a cycle of eight monofore medium size, below which, in contact with the water, there are masks with lion heads, a peculiar element. Centrally, the entrance to the canal consists of a return preceded by a gate, opening onto a large terrace from which you can enjoy the view of the Grand Canal from the Accademia Bridge to the San Marco Basin. Internally, the palace houses the Guggenheim Collection, with paintings by artists such as Picasso, Kandinskij,Magritte, Pollock, but also the original furnishings of Peggy Guggenheim’s bedroom.
Corner Palace of the Ca ‘Granda (Right bank)
After Benzon Foscolo Palace, Palazzetto Pisani, river of Santissimo, Palazzo Succi, Stecchini House, Casina delle Rose, there is Ca’ Corner on the right bank. Palazzo Corner della Ca ‘Granda is the seat of the Metropolitan City of Venice and the Prefecture. The building has a well-kept facade on the Grand Canal. The architect left the lower area (1st order) decorated with ashlar; and he punctuated the upper floors with a series of arches that amplify the chiaroscuro effect of the building, denouncing the classical matrix, where voids prevail over full. On the 2nd order windows inserted in arches with balustrades, and interspersed with pairs of Ionic (decorative) columns resting on a base and supporting an entablature. On the 3rd order windows inserted in arches with balustrades, and interspersed with pairs of Corinthian columns (decorative) which rest on a base and support an entablature with elliptical windows inserted in the frieze. The vertical tripartite division of the typically Venetian facade is identifiable only in the central portico and in the balcony that unites the three windows above.
Ca ‘Dario (Left bank)
After the river of Torreselle, there is Ca ‘Dario. Ca ‘Dario is famous for an unrelated series of unfortunate events that happened to some of its owners. Ca ‘Dario is often described as one of the most characteristic palaces in Venice, often compared to the Ca’ d’Oro. Its strange beauty caught the interest of John Ruskin, who described its marble decorations in great detail. The back of the building, painted red, overlooks Campiello Barbaro. In 1908 Claude Monet used Ca ‘Dario as the subject for a series of typically Impressionist paintings: all from the same perspective, but with different lighting conditions. One of the latest interior restoration, arrangement and furnishing interventions was carried out in 1977 by Giorgio Pes, decorator of the film Il Gattopardo.
The slender and asymmetrical façade on the Grand Canal, characterized by a limited width of about 10 meters, hangs on one side due to a structural failure and has elements of a clear Renaissance matrix, in contrast to the other facades that still maintain the Gothic style then widespread in Venice. It is completely decorated with polychrome marble and Istrian stone, alternating in eighty circular medallions. The ground floor has two lancet windows and a water portal, while each of the upper floors is illuminated by a four-lancet window and a lancet window. The fireplaces, in typical Venetian style, are among the few original examples of the time that have survived to this day. The neo-Gothic balcony was added in the 19th century. At the base of the building is the inscription VRBIS GENIO IOANNES DARIVS (in Latin, “Giovanni Dario, in honor of the genius of the city”).
River of San Maurizio and River of Santa Maria Zobenigo (Right bank)
There are some small palaces with simple Gothic elements in this narrow estuary. After the river of San Maurizio, there is Minotto Palace and Barbarigo Palace. After the river of Santa Maria Zobenigo, there is Manin Contarini Palace, Venier Contarini Palace, Campo S. Maria del Giglio and ferry station, Pisani Gritti Palace.
Genovese Palace (Left bank)
After Orio Semitecolo Benzon Palace, S. Gregorio ferry boat station, Nani Mocenigo Palace, there is Genovese Palace. Palazzo Genovese was built in 1892, an important restoration was completed in 2009, with conversion to a luxury hotel. It is arranged on three floors with the façade overlooking the Grand Canal designed symmetrically: each floor has four Gothic single-light windows on each side, in a stone frame. Centrally, on the ground floor, three paired ogival portals overlook the water, while on the two noble floors, two hexaphores with parapet overlap. The motif of the windows is a classic reference to that of the first floor of the Doge’s Palace.
Church of San Gregorio (Left bank)
The former church of San Gregorio was once occupied by a workshop of the Mint for the gold refinery. After the restoration in the years 1959 – 60 it was used as a restoration laboratory of the Superintendence for the artistic and historical heritage of Venice. Today it has long been in disuse. The current building is the result of the fifteenth-century reconstruction by Antonio Cremonese, who replaced the previous Venetian-Byzantine style with Gothic. The gabled façade is divided into three parts by four pilasters. In the center are the portal, enclosed by an elegant rosette frame, and, just above, the large rose window. The solid brickwork is lightened by two overlapping mullioned windows on each side. Inside, with a single nave, remains of frescoes still survive. The three apses with trussed ceilings are interesting.
Ferro Fini Palace (Right bank)
After the river of dell’Alboro, there is Ferro Fini Palace on the right bank. Palazzo Ferro Fini is is the seat of the Veneto Regional Council. Palazzo Flangini Fini was in turn divided into two buildings (one wider than the Contarini, the other the Da Ponte). Flangini Fini Palace presents a façade of majestic classical asymmetric, with mullioned and lancet windows to all sixth with heads keystone to the two main floors and similar portals of water. Also of note are the string courses and the eaves line. The older façade of Palazzo Manolesso Ferro combines different styles: the mezzanine has a Renaissance style three -light window; on the first floor there are gothic windows with trilobate arches, while on the second floor the classic references in the round arches return. The restorations aimed on the one hand at recovering the original subdivision of the spaces, altered over the centuries by the various intended uses (eg atrium on the ground floor, portego on the noble floor, courtyards); on the other hand, the adaptation of the complex to the new function of institutional headquarters.
Contarini Fasan Palace (Right bank)
Palazzo Contarini is a peculiar 15th century building. Over the centuries it has been affected by a legend that traditionally makes it the home of Desdemona, a character from Shakespearean Othello. The opening parts, the maximum expression of Venetian Gothic architecture, highlights the three levels: the ground floor consists of three small rectangular windows (there is no access to the water); on the first floor a pointed three -light window with balcony, whose openings are supported by white stone columns; on the second floor two ogival single- lancet windows. Between the two mullioned windows, under a small square opening, there is a large coat of arms of the Contarini family in bas-relief. The top of the façade is crossed by a notched cornice, under which traces of the fifteenth-century frescoes that once adorned the surface survive. On the left side an “overpass” connects the palace with the adjacent building: peculiar in it is the presence of a Gothic single-lancet window, modeled on those of the facade.
Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute (Left bank)
Santa Maria della Salute is one of the best expressions of Venetian Baroque architecture. Its construction represents an ex voto to the Madonna by the Venetians for the liberation from the plague that between1630 and 1631 decimated the population. The central body is octagonal in shape on which rests a large hemispherical dome, then surrounded by six minor chapels. The refined spiral scrolls stabilized by statues act as buttresses for the dome, on whose lantern stands the statue of the Virgin. The church extends towards the south in the smaller volume of the presbytery with side apses, covered in turn by a lower dome and flanked by two bell towers: these elements appear imposing to those who travel along the Rio Terà dei Catecumeni, which until the beginning of the twentieth century century was the only access from the ground to the church. The main facade was decorated by the sculptor Tommaso Rues with marble statues of the four evangelists: Saint Mark, San Luca, St. Matthew, Saint John.
Punta della Dogana (Left bank)
The Punta della Dogana, a thin triangular point of division between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, overlooking the San Marco Basin. The area, part of the Dorsoduro district, hosts three important architectural complexes. The Dogana da Mar complex was a 17th century building, the work of the architect and engineer Giuseppe Benoni,has a triangular plan, consisting of 8 bays spread over two floors and is crowned by a tower dominated by the golden ball. At the time of the Republic of Venice, the complex, due to its central position between the San Marco Basin and the entrance to the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, was used as a customs office for goods and goods subject to naval trade. The building had stood empty for decades. The exterior has been restored without additions and is the only part of the original structure that remains intact. From here, the left bank will enter the San Marco Basin, and the view will be a vast lagoon.
River of dell’Alboro and River of San Moisè (Right bank)
In this area opposite the basilica, several small palaces along the coast exhibited a simple Gothic style, without expensive facades to express humility. After Contarini Fasan Palace, there is Venier Contarini Palace, Michiel Alvisi Palace, Badoer Tiepolo Palace, Treves de Bonfili Palace, Hotel Bauer, Ca ‘Giustinian, Vallaresso Erizzo Palace, Harry’s Bar, Fonteghetto della Farina,
Bridge of the Academy of Painters and River of dell Zecca (Right bank)
After the Bridge of the Academy of Painters, a small open space which is Casino from coffee or Palazzina Selva and the Royal gardens. After the river of dell Zecca, there is the Mint, and then comes the finale attractions, the San Marco Complex.
Marciana National Library (Right bank)
The Marciana National Library is the most important in Venice. It contains one of the finest collections of Greek, Latin and Oriental manuscripts in the world. It is located on the lower part of Piazza San Marco, between the bell tower of San Marco and the Mint. The decoration is at the base of the library, built on two floors. The architectural order, which significantly defines the decoration of the artefact, is superimposed, the ground floor a rich three-dimensional Tuscanic which is leaning on the pillars (Roman style) with evident triglyphs and metopes and on the upper floor the Ionic. An example of great innovation are the very compacted Serliane that characterize the building on the first floor. The decorative enrichment of the library is embellished with sculptural works. Fruit festoons, a large cornice with important statues corresponding to the columns characterize the evident Renaissance crowning.
The facade is on two levels: the arches of the ground floor are of the Tuscan order. On them rests a Doric entablature which alternates triglyphs and metopes; on the second level there is an Ionic loggia, surmounted in turn by a rich frieze in which cherubs and festoons of flowers and fruit follow one another. In the arches, a rich sculptural decoration. On the crowning, a balustrade surmounted by statues of classical divinities, works by Alessandro Vittoria, Tommaso Minio, Tommaso and Girolamo Lombardo, Danese Cattaneo and Bartolomeo Ammannati. In the façade, light and chiaroscuro, the voids prevail over the full ones. It is a polyvalent organism, whose prospect on the square is resolved with a double order of Roman-style arches.
Piazza San Marco (Right bank)
Piazza San Marco, located in Venice in the Veneto region, is one of the most important Italian monumental squares, renowned throughout the world for its beauty and architectural integrity. The Piazzetta San Marco, the southern offshoot in front of the Doge’s Palace and the Library, is the monumental access to the Marciana area for those coming from the sea through the two columns facing the San Marco basin, which is overlooked by the dock of the Doge’s Palace. the only shore in Venice that bears the name of pier.
The western side of the area is characterized by the presence of the Sansovinian facade of the Marciana Library, begun in 1537 and completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi by 1591. The ground floor portico features clubs and shops; the upper floors house the headquarters of the Archaeological Museum and the National Library. The small square on the side of the San Marco basin ends with the Molo, overlooked by the Mint, also designed by Sansovino and completed in 1547, adjacent to the minor facade of the Library and today part of it. Along the lagoon you will find the Columns of San Marco and San Teodoro, dedicated respectively to the current and the primitive patron saint of the city: probably when they were placed along the shore, since this was later enlarged.
The façade of the Palazzo Ducale facing the square was built in 1424 by the will of Francesco Foscari. In the loggia on the first floor, also known as Loggia Foscara, it is possible to notice two columns made of red Verona marble: between these two we read the death sentences that were then carried out between the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro. The balcony in the center of the upper order, with the lion of San Marco, dates back to 1536. It was designed by Sansovino and Scarpagnino, maintaining the structure of the 14th century balcony of the Dalle Masegne. By Alessandro Vittoria are the statue of Justice, crowning it, and Mercury. The sculptural group with the Doge Andrea Gritti and the Lion of San Marco, which had suffered heavy damage during the translation from the Esplanade Des Invalides in Paris where it had been placed in 1797, was restored in 1816. Where this front ends and the facade begins south of the basilica, particularly short, are the Monument to the Tetrarchs, two columns, brought to Venice at the time of the fourth crusade, and a structure known as the “Pietra del Bando”.
Doge’s Palace (Right bank)
The Doge’s Palace, formerly also Dogal Palace as the seat of the Doge, one of the symbols of the city of Venice and a masterpiece of Venetian Gothic, is a building that stands in the monumental area of Piazza San Marco. Its beauty is based on a shrewd aesthetic and physical paradox, connected to the fact that the heavy bulk of the main body is supported by apparently slender inlaid colonnades. The Doge’s Palace is spread over three wings around the sides of a large central arcaded courtyard, the fourth side of which consists of the lateral body of the Marcian basilica. On the whole, the structure presents in the decoration a clear reference to oriental architectural stylesand, to a lesser extent, Germanic, derived largely from the high number of cultural and commercial contacts that took place between the Venetians and other Mediterranean and European peoples and the consequent importation of materials from those lands.
The two main facades of the building, in Gothic-Venetian style, facing the square and the pier, are developed on two colonnaded levels surmounted by a mighty inlaid marble body in which large ogival windows open, with a monumental central balcony, its vault is richly decorated, and a crowning of small cusps and corner aedicules, replacing the traditional cornice. Between the two levels of the loggia and the wall above there is a continuous cornice, which divides the façade into two sections of equal height. The airy loggias with columns and pointed arches pierced with quadrilobes, bordered by balustradesand not based on the traditional model as they are slightly inflected, they are supported by the portico on the ground floor, which has half of the openings and is decorated with finely carved capitals. The Bridge of Sighs can also be seen from the Grand Canal, on the east side of the Doge’s Palace.
From here, the route of the Grand Canal ends, and the itinerary is about to return to the original road, or take other small canals, or to the lagoon.
The Grand Canal is still the main transport axis in the historic city center. Traffic is regulated by time slots and by type (transport service, gondolas, service public transport of taxi water) it was still forbidden to recreational traffic. The wave motion produced by motor boats represents a serious problem for the foundations of buildings.
Vaporetti and taxis
On the other hand, there are no restrictions on the ACTV line waterbuses, which are the main means of transport for people; some lines run along the entire canal, stopping close to bricole fixed to bricole. The vaporetto stops along the Grand Canal are: Piazzale Roma, Ferrovia, Riva de Biasio, S. Marcuola, San Stae, Ca ‘d’Oro, Rialto Mercato, Rialto, San Silvestro, Sant’Angelo, San Tomà, Ca’ Rezzonico, San Samuele / Palazzo Grassi, Accademia, Santa Maria del Giglio, Salute, San Marco Vallaresso. The canal is also crossed by motorboats that carry out taxi services.
Many tourists, however, prefer to experience the Grand Canal lying on a gondola, to calmly admire buildings and bridges and discover the places where famous people have lived.
To cross the Grand Canal there are gondoloni, also known as small boats, which act as a ferry between two stations, and carry up to 14 people. Very numerous in the past, when moving by gondola was normal, today the following remain: Railway – San Simeon Piccolo, San Marcuola – Fondaco dei Turchi, Santa Sofia – Pescaria, Fondamenta del Vin – Riva del Carbon (in Rialto), San Tomà – Sant’Angelo, San Barnaba – San Samuele, San Gregorio – Santa Maria Zobenigo.
Every year, on the first Sunday of September, the Historical Regatta takes place along the Grand Canal, a series of races between Venetian boats that attracts crowds of Venetians and others on the banks. The races are preceded by the Historical Parade, which commemorates the entry into Venice of Caterina Corner, queen of Cyprus after the abdication in 1489: gondoliers in costume lead typical boats of the sixteenth century following the Bucintoro, the state galley of the doges.
Feast of Our Lady of Health
November 21 is the Feast of the Madonna della Salute, in which the Venetians thank the Madonna for the liberation from the plague of 1630 – 31 with an intense pilgrimage to the basilica. On this occasion, a temporary bridge of boats on the Grand Canal is set up at the Campo di Santa Maria Zobenigo for the numerous pilgrims, who in Campo della Salute also celebrate by visiting the stalls and eating castradina.