One day

One day we’re going to find this intriguing spiral staircase open to the public again.

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This is the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, found off Campo Manin in the San Marco sestiere. Look for the tiny Calle della Vida and follow your nose to get to it.

Contarini is the family name, bovolo refers to the shape of the staircase: snail-like.

The view from the top must be splendid.

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The architectural details of the underside of the stairway are shown here.

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There are two small courtyards and several wellheads at the base of the tower.

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And, some very appealing violets.

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29 Comments

Filed under Venice

29 responses to “One day

  1. As I discovered with old photos of Lili….sepia would be a blessing because the scanner changed all the yellows to blue and the browns to purple. Thankfully it left Lili black and white.

    I’ve scanned other photos and it didn’t do that . Ah, well.

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  2. Bert

    When I went it was just as MaryK says – a desk at the bottom of the staircase, with someone collecting the fee and giving out tickets. I was still using photosensitive celluloid, so the photos aren’t readily available. I’ll see what I can do, though.

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  3. Incredibly beautiful architecture.

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  4. MaryK

    Okay – I worked out when it was – December 2004. Jon doesn’t think there was a formal ticket office. He thinks he remembers there just being someone on the ground floor collecting the (small) entry fee. All quite informal. I do recall that the opening hours were very limited – maybe just a few hours on a few days a week.

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  5. Caroline

    I wonder if you can still go in now, if you are staying at the associated B&B? Maybe not, though, since there is work going on. I’ll try to remember to ask our Edinburgh friend who is friends with the owner & sometimes stays there when she’s in town.

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  6. I climbed the stairs in December 2001. It was so cold that my camera stopped working. So I do not have any photos. My video camera still functioned so, at least, I was able to take a few seconds of video. The view is phenomenal.

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  7. It was closed like that my first trip to Venice in October 2008, Mike took me there on our photo tour. My best pictures were of a couple of cats playing on the pozzo.

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  8. It’s interesting to think of what thought processes went on to decide to build something like this in Venice, Darlene. Pretty radical!

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  9. It’s beautiful and yes, I would love to see the view from the top.

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  10. MaryK

    We were lucky to find it open one visit (but I can’t for the life of me remember which year). It’s just splendid – wonderful design and fascinating to see close up. And yes – the view from the top is absolutely fabulous.

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  11. Bert

    I didn’t realise how lucky I was when I climbed to the top on 17th June 2004. The admission charge was 3€.

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  12. Andante

    We’ve always hoped that we’d suddenly find it was open for visits, each time we’ve gone to press our noses against the railings ( it’s so hard to get in a position to take a really good photo there, isn’t it? – congratulations on yours) – and wouldn’t it be magnificent to see a horse going up that staircase for real?

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    • It really is hard to get good photographic angles on this palazzo, P. Someone with a professional camera should be able to do it, though. A horse going up there is a worthy subject for one of your sketches …

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  13. Pat

    Took me forever to find this place years ago LOL!!! At least I saw it before there was any scaffolding which was there next time I went. Have to keep on watch on this one for the opening of the staircase as I really, really want to climb it!

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  14. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to climb that staircase. But for now, I suppose we must content ourselves with just looking at it. Those violets are beautiful too, Y.

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