Very well hidden and known only to few, this one-of-a-kind stairway, known as “Scala Contarini del Bovolo” or Contarini’s snail-shell stairway, leads to an arcade which provides a wonderful 270° view of Venice’s rooftops, Saint Mark’s Basilica and bell tower and of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
This spiral staircase, a fusion of Renaissance, Byzantine and Gothic style, was commissioned in 1499 to Giovanni Candi by Pietro, Marco, and Giovanni Contarini, senators of the Serenissima, to decorate the facade of the contiguous Palace of San Paternian.
The beauty of the staircase drew so much attention and popularity that, since then, this branch of the Contarini family became “Contarini del Bovolo”.
Closed for restoration, the “Scala del Bovolo” has been re-opened to the public on February 2016.
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