Venice in its glory had more than 300,000 inhabitants. A lot of people for such a small island. And if the residents were many, there wasn’t a shortage of noble families (or wealthy merchants as a matter of fact.) Therefore, to emerge on a social level it was necessary to demonstrate in a tangible way their wealth. What more evident way than to construct grander and more magnificent palaces? Here then are some exemplary “artistic brick ” buildings built from the 1300’s and on from the show-off competition.
Today it’s the Museum of Modern Art, but the original surroundings are perfectly kept. You can walk the halls and stairs designed by Baldassarre Longhena and revel in the grandeur of the rooms and the spectacular view of the Grand Canal. Starting off with the marvelous inner courtyard with a spectacular well and finish off with the breathtaking façade. This palace shouldn’t be overlooked.
Unfortunately you can’t visit it in its entirety but this palace’s position is truly unique: it faces the busy entrance of the Grand Canal and the marvelous San Marco basin. The Gothic façade recently renovated now hides the prestigious institution The Biennale of Venice. You can access the ground floor (where there is often an exhibition from the biennale archives, free entrance) and drink a coffee in the splendid terrace out in the open. In the past it was a hotel that was much appreciated by artists of a certain caliber: Verdi, Turner, and Proust.
Another museum (1700’s) and another palace you can’t pass-up seeing. The internal structure is breathtaking and the row of columns conducts you directly to the waters of the Grand Canal. Truly marvelous. Don’t stop at the extraordinary intermediate floors that are rich with artwork. Observe the luxurious wealth of Venetian families and continue on up until the attic where you can see the spectacular view of the rooftops in Venice.
Just think that once some of the décor of this stupendous palace façade were made of gold. Now this gorgeous building that faces the Grand Canal, hosts the Franchetti Gallery. It remains an immeasurable example of opulence: the two splendid terraces offer a priceless view over Venice and the internal courtyard reminds you of the mystery and beauty this city contains.