Talk about a hidden gem! This architectural phenomena has opened after generations of restoration and squabble. I have always enjoyed touring first timers around the city…bobbing and weaving through narrow calles and then suddenly stopping here. Surprise! Welcome to the visually stunning cylindrical tower of Scala Contarini del Bovolo! A bovolo in Venetian dialect is a snail shell.
Venice is filled with the rich history of wealthy families outdoing one another in home design. Just take a ride down the Grand Canal to enjoy the visual game of “I have more money than you do”!
The uniqueness of this particular palace is that it is located in a dead end calle (street) genuinely hidden from any passerby. The design is purely aesthetic, a unique combination of Gothic, Renaissance and Venetian – Byzantine.
Its purpose? Apparently, to decorate the plain palace which it conceals. The stairs spiral up to a loggia (covered terrace) with the most spectacular views of the city I have ever enjoyed. I literally feel closest to the core of the city here, pivoting above the lagoon, ticking off each campanile by name.
The views from the top floor are so stunning… words simply cannot do this spot justice!