Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is, it too, located in San Marco, and what puts it on the tourist map of Venice refers to neither the historical background nor the general architectural structure. Yet, the palace remains unique in the overall architectural landscape of the lagoon by force of the so-called Scala Contarini di Bovolo, an elegant external spiral staircase dotted with numerous arches.

The palace was built in the 14th century, but the staircase was added in the late 15th century by Giovanni Candi (the architect who also dubbed the palace Palazzo del Bovolo, meaning, the Spiral Palace, hinting on the winding course of the stairs). The staircase is not visible from the street or from the canal, but only from the small inner courtyard of the palace. The tower embellished by the half Gothic half Renaissance style staircase is overtopped by a dome from where, in case visitors choose to climb up the tower, can admire a sweeping view of the skyline of San Marco, dotted with steeples, domes and rooftops.

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (Palazzo Contarini Minelli dal Bovolo)
4299, San Marco, Venice, Italy
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