One of the hidden jewels of Venice.
Hidden in a labyrinth of streets and canals, just a few steps from Campo Manin, along one of the main Venetian touristic itineraries, an architectural jewel-characterized by a style ranking between the renaissance (for the use of various elements such as the capitals), the gothic (for the construction technique) and the Venetian-Byzantine (for the form) periods - magnificently stands out: the Scala Contarini del Bovolo.
The most impressive and valuable spiral staircase in Venice was commissioned by Pietro Contarini, presumably around the end of the 15th century to decorate the façade of the adjacent Palazzo di San Paternian owned by the illustrious Venetian family. The realization of this work, in fact, initially didn't have a functional objective, but consisted mainly in an act of prestige and was essentially aimed at increasing the popularity of the family.
The creation of the staircase had such a resonance that the citizenry minted a nickname for that branch of the family for which, from that moment, the appellative Contarini del Bovolo has been used (from the particular shape of the snail-shell shaped staircase, which in Venetian is called "bovolo").
The loggia on the second floor of the Scala del Bovolo leads to the prestigious hall of Palazzo Contarini (Sala del Tintoretto) where works from the IRE art collection –paintings, sculptures and objects - are exhibited, thus offering a significant insight into the taste of the Venetian patricians of the time and is testimony of the most illustrious protagonists of the Venetian artistic panorama between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Visiting hours: 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Closed on: January 1st, August 15th, November 1st, December 25th and 26th
Exceptional closure: April 9th from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The ticket office shuts 30 minutes before closing time of the museum.
- Full price: €7
- Reductions: €6 for people under 26 or over 65 years of age, FAI members and National Trust members
- Children up to 12 years of age
- Authorized Tourist Guides
- Residents in Venice's municipality (with a valid i.d. card)
- IRE and Fondazione di Venezia Servizi alla Persona employees
Free tickets cannot be booked. Groups of 10 people or more are required to book the visit.