Ico­nic, beau­ti­ful and... im­per­fect. Wi­thout a doubt, this is the cha­rac­te­ri­stic that ma­kes Sca­la Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo a ra­re gem of Ve­ne­tian ar­chi­tec­tu­re.

Where Venice - - Contents - By Ste­fa­nia Vi­da

Ico­nic, beau­ti­ful and… im­per­fect, Sca­la Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo is a ra­re gem of Ve­ne­tian ar­chi­tec­tu­re

Hid­den in a ma­ze of ‘cal­li' (squa­res) and ca­nals, ju­st steps from Cam­po Ma­nin, along one of the main tou­ri­st rou­tes in Ve­ni­ce (from the San­ta Lu­cia rail­way to the Gal­le­rie dell'Ac­ca­de­mia), vi­si­tors will find an ar­chi­tec­tu­ral gem fea­tu­ring a com­bi­na­tion of Re­nais­san­ce, Go­thic and By­zan­ti­ne ele­men­ts. The Sca­la Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo is a hi­sto­ric buil­ding of un­mat­ched beau­ty that al­so owes so­me of its charm to the in­tri­gue sur­roun­ding its na­me­sa­ke stair­ca­se.

According to hi­sto­ric re­cords, the Sca­la Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo was com­mis­sio­ned by Pie­tro Con­ta­ri­ni to­wards the end of 1400; ho­we­ver, the­re is still so­me un­cer­tain­ty about the true iden­ti­ty of its crea­tor. The mo­st cre­di­ble ver­sion at­tri­bu­tes it to Gio­van­ni Can­di, re­fer­red to in hi­sto­ri­cal re­cords as a ‘ma­ran­gon', mea­ning a car­pen­ter and wood­wor­ker as op­po­sed to an ar­chi­tect. This would ex­plain the ar­chi­tec­tu­ral in­con­si­sten­cies of the buil­ding, whi­ch are qui­te no­ti­cea­ble when clim­bing the stair­ca­se. My­ste­ries asi­de, tho­se who are not afraid of heights can climb to the top of this 26m 'bo­vo­lo' (snail-shell) stair­well, en­clo­sed in a cy­lin­der per­fo­ra­ted li­ke la­ce, to ad­mi­re a ra­re view of the ci­ty. Amid­st its roof­tops you will no­ti­ce one of Ve­ni­ce's tra­de­mark ar­chi­tec­tu­ral fea­tu­res: the ‘al­ta­ne'. An al­ta­na is a co­ve­red woo­den roof ter­ra­ce that Ve­ne­tians use to ta­ke shel­ter from the sun.

The log­gia on the se­cond floor of the Sca­la del Bo­vo­lo leads to the Sa­la of Pa­laz­zo Con­ta­ri­ni, whi­ch hosts a di­splay of pain­tings, sculp­tu­res and ap­plied ob­jet d'art. The col­lec­tion is mo­de­st but it of­fers the vi­si­tor a in­sight­ful glimp­se in­to Ve­ne­tian li­fe­sty­les from the 16th through 18th cen­tu­ries.

Open dai­ly (10am-1.30pm, 2pm-6pm).

Clo­sed on: 15 Au­gu­st, 1 November, 25 and 26 De­cem­ber and 1 Ja­nua­ry. >> Sca­la Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo

San Mar­co, 4299 (Cor­te Con­ta­ri­ni del Bo­vo­lo)­la­con­ta­ri­ni­del­bo­vo­

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