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Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (41)

Half hidden among small narrow streets of the sestiere of San Marco, close to Campo Manin, stands this building, the courtyard of which features one of the most curious structures in the city: its spiral stairway. 

Built in the 15th century, this palace is a beautiful example of the transition between Gothic and Renaissance. The stairway, added later, is hidden on the inside of a cylindrical structure with rising arcades that connect the loggias of the different floors and which, due to their peculiar spiral form, were given the name of bovolo, which in the Venetian language means “snail”.

If you are lucky and the restoration works allow it, you will be able to go up to the top of the tower, crowned by a cupola. From there before your eyes is a magnificent view of the city, from which stand out the Campanile and the cupolas of the Basilica of San Marco.

The palace is currently owned by the IRE, the public institution that administers care for the city’s elderly and minors.

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