“There is much music on the canals every night in Venice and if one is to be candid one must reluctantly confess that of late years it is not often good. Boats filled with singers begin to appear about eight in the evening and stop before the hotels which are massed together close to the entrance of the Grand Canal; or they pause a little way out in the stream where passing gondolas may gather round them.”
—from “Wayfarers in Italy” 1917 by Katharine Hooker
To reach the concert hall, where we attended a student jazz concert, we passed through the three-story courtyard (see photo #1), where we found some of those giant stone figures (see photos #4 & #5).
Palazzo Pisani has labyrinth-like and imposing quality about itself. Housing Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello Venezia, it is beautiful with the charm of a fragile object. It is one of the few Venetian palazzi open to the public on a daily basis. With young musicians enlivening the 300-year old palazzo, average Venetian citizens, who want to maintain touch with the city’s rich history, visit to appreciate the sounds of music during the school year.
Since 1876 Palazzo Pisani has housed a music school, when it was the Musical Society Benedetto Marcello, then in 1915 a Conservatory for Music. In 1940 the State Conservatory for Music Benedetto Marcello was established there. Benedetto Marcello was an 18th century Venetian composer, writer, and magistrate. Among the musicians who have studied under the gaze of giant stone figures was Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari.
“Finally, Venice is more convenient for my frequent communications with Germany than any other Italian town would be …”
— from a letter, dated 24.August.1858, written by Richard Wagner to Franz Liszt
Just off Campo Santo Stefano stands Palazzo Pisani. Built in 1603 for Alvise Pisani, a member of one of the richest and most powerful Venetian noble families, Palazzo Pisani was the largest private building in the city, second in size only to Palazzo Ducale in Piazza San Marco.
It is true; this palace is huge; the façade (see photo #1) is impossible to capture in a single photo. I have focused on the details of the palace, not to be confused with Palazzo Pisani Moretta, which is a swanky hotel today facing Canal Grande and and by the same family. Hercules battles the Nemean lion (see photos #4 & #5) outside the main entrance to Palazzo Pisani.
The palazzo now houses Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello Venezia, the Conservatory of Venice.
The Pisani family produced a doge! Alvise Pisani (1.January 1664 – 17.June.1741) was born and died in Venice. He was elected the city’s 114th doge, reining from 17.January.1735 until his death. He had been a career diplomat, representing Venice at the courts of France, Austria, and Spain. He also served as a councilor to previous doges.
This square is adjacent to Campo San Stefano adjacent to the Canal Grande. The square links with the Ponte dei l'Accademia over the Canal Grande where you can reach Gallerie Accademia and Cheisa Gesdati.
Walking around town, you'll continuously come upon open plazas. Here each community formed around a well (water catchment) and a church. Interconnected with each neighboring community by walks and canals, the city of Venice is the sum of each of these communities.
For many centuries, the Mocenigo family was one of the most powerful in Venice, mostly because no less than seven members of the family were appointed to the position of Doge between the 15th and 18th century. They owned several palazzi across the city and in 1945, the Mocenigo family's last descendent left their San Stae palazzo to the city of Venice, stipulating that it should be transformed into an art gallery. In 1985, Ca' Mocenigo became the city's museum of textile and costume. To be honest, I didn't think the museum's collection was that interesting, but what makes a visit to the Palazzo Mocenigo worthwhile is that the rooms have for the most part been left intact, featuring 18th century furniture and decoration, which gives visitors a pretty good idea of what a Venitian palace used to look like from the inside. Information is available in several languages, describing each room's purpose and art works.
Palazzo Mocenigo is included in the city's museum pass, otherwise admission is 4.50 Euros (which I would consider a bit expensive unless you're really into fabrics and costumes). The museum is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (closed on Mondays).
Palazzo Farsetti - Loredan is one of the nice palaces you can see along Grand Canal. It was built in the 13th century by doge Enrico Dandolo as a warehouse. In the 17th century it was bought by the Farsetti family and was restored as you can see nowdays. The facade is very nice and it was built in a Venetian-Byzantine style. The palace has got original features: part of the portico and windows opening on a loggia which run the length of the first floor.
Palazzo Loredan, close to Palazzo Farsetti, was built in the same years of the first. Both of them are the city hall of the town.
There are so many beautiful Palazzos in Venice. And the best way to look at them is from the water. If you are willing to pay € 100 for a gondola ride, do it, but it's also possible to view a lot of them travelling by vaporetto in the canal grande.
Palazzo Labia is considered to be the last grand palace built in Venice built just at the turn of the 18th century by the Labia family, Spaniards who bought their way into nobility in 1646.
It was common practice in Venice for only the waterfront facade to have a richness of detail but the architects who designed Palazzo Labia made 3 faces of the building ornate, not only its principal water front facade, providing further evidence of the Labia's vast wealth.
Today the palazzo is no longer a private residence, but regional headquarters of RAI, Italian State television. Occasionally the ballroom is used for high ranking international conferences and summits; this room and some of the state rooms are open to public viewing by appointment.