Discovering Venice’s Hidden Gem: The Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Discovering Venice’s Hidden Gem: The Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Nestled in the heart of Venice, away from the bustling tourist paths, lies a remarkable architectural marvel that captures the essence of Venetian ingenuity – the Scala Contarini del Bovolo.

This exquisite spiral staircase, hidden within the sestiere of San Marco, offers a unique glimpse into the city’s rich history and artistic heritage.

A Staircase Like No Other

The Scala Contarini del Bovolo, which translates to “snail shell” in the Venetian dialect, is an external spiral staircase that adorns the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Its design is a harmonious blend of Renaissance, Gothic, and Byzantine styles, making it a standout structure in Venice’s architectural landscape.

The Legacy of the Contarini Family

Commissioned by the affluent Contarini family in the late 15th century, the staircase was an ambitious addition to their palatial residence. Designed by the architect Giovanni Candi, the Scala stands at 26 meters tall and provides access to the loggias on each of the palazzo’s floors. Climbing its steps, visitors are rewarded with a panoramic view of the city’s rooftops, a sight that has been inspiring awe for centuries.

A Cultural Touchstone

The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo has been a silent witness to Venice’s transformation over the years. It has changed hands several times, but its beauty remains untouched. The staircase even caught the eye of Orson Welles, who chose it as a filming location for his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello.

Visiting the Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Today, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo is open to the public, inviting visitors to explore its spiraling ascent and enjoy the breathtaking views. It stands as a testament to Venice’s enduring allure and the city’s capacity to surprise and enchant even the most seasoned travelers.

For those seeking the road less traveled in Venice, the Scala Contarini del Bovolo is a must-visit destination. It’s a piece of history that continues to spiral upwards, just like the staircase itself, towards the sky. Here’s where you can find more info:

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