Located on the Grand Canal, in the proximity of Ca’ Foscari and a short walking distance from the Academy Galleries, Palazzo Balbi does not necessarily enjoy the reputation other prestigious palaces of Venice do. It is, however, a landmark which enriches the architectural patrimony of the city, and it is well worth a visit.

The palace was built in the late 16th century (more precisely, between 1582 and 1590) on the commission of the wealthy Balbi family. Alessandro Vittorio was the architect in charge with designing the palace, the future sumptuous residence of the Balbis. The building still keeps its original structure and most of the old decorations, such as the coat of arms of the Balbi family, placed between the windows of the first floor.

The style of the palace is characterized by Renaissance and Baroque influences, being easily classifiable as a Mannerist expression. The exterior of the building is embellished by a well balanced facade centrally pegged out by several mullioned windows flanked by double Doric columns. The facade is, in fact, replete with decorative elements, such as the large frame which separates the two upper floors and the false columns which delineate the three sectors of the building. The entire building is overtopped by two pinnacles beneath which there lies a notched cornice. Inside, one of the highlights refers to the frescoes realized by Jacopo Guarana in the 18th century.

The palace changed owners several times in the course of history. While it originally belonged to the Balbi family, at present it is a key administrative building, being the seat of the central administration of the Veneto region.

Palazzo Balbi
3901, Calle Balbi, Dorsoduro, 30123, Venice, Italy
0039 041 2792910
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