THINGS TO DO IN VENICE ITALY: A TOUR AMONG NEVER-ENDED PALACES…
Visiting Venice in the most authentic way doesn’t only mean giving up the car and enjoying the city-life by walking around, but it also means inevitably experimenting with another form of transportation and getting around… on the water!
If it’s your first time in Venice, or even if you have already been here many times, we suggest enjoying the unique view of the main venetian road, the one where every noble family wanted to have their majestic palace: the Grand Canal.
Of course, the gondola is irresistibly fascinating, but it is not always economically accessible to everyone. A very good alternative is to get a vaporetto (a waterbus), taking the line n.1 that goes along the whole Grand Canal. Choose a starting point, get comfortable, and enjoy the unforgettable view, rocked by the movement of the boat on the water, enjoying every detail of the palaces that will appear before you one after the other.
Some of them stand out because of their tremendous size, their beautiful decorations or their position. However, there is another aspect we want to focus on: the presence of some unfinished palaces on the Grand Canal. There are many reasons why some of those buildings were never completed… we’ll give you two examples!
- Palazzo Venier dei Leoni: also known as the venue for the Peggy Guggheneim collection, very well-known contemporary art museum. Not everyone notices from looking at this palace (unless one has the possibility of seeing it from the outside) that this is only a single-story building, quite an odd feature for a Venetian palace…The palace was built around the mid-eighteenth century by the Venier family, whose original project included three floors. The works likely stopped because of a rivalry with the Corner family, who owned the great palace just in front of Veniers’ one on the other side of the Grand canal – today the house of the Prefecture of Venice. A new palace would have meant for the Corners losing their prestige of having the best view of the Grand Canal and, therefore, a diminution of the image of the Corner family. Though it is still not clear exactly how they accomplished it, this is why they were able to stop the construction that was going on at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.
- The second example, a very different one but just as intriguing as the first, is Ca’ del Duca, not far from the Accademia Bridge. This palace, which doesn’t stand out at first sight, reveals to the careful observer a number of stories layered up in the building. The façade appears divided into two parts: at the ground floor two columns appear to be cut off and the bossage decoration of the façade is incomplete, too. The palace was sold in 1461, even before the construction ordered by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, could be finished. The palace was, indeed, expropriated because of the rivalry between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan. A number of different owners followed one another from that moment on, but none of them ever completed the original project…
Many more examples can be found! Try to take notes of peculiarities and differences while you enjoy the spectacular view of the water. Then, compare your notes with the other member of your group or family to discover a mysterious and enigmatic side of Venice!