Considered by many to be the most beautiful palace on the Grand Canal, the Ca’ D’Oro was built by expert stonemasons in the 15th century, mostly nameless artisans under the direction of the great architect Bartolomeo Bon. It is undoubtedly the jewel of Venetian gothic architecture. The façade resembles a refined piece oriental embroidery, crowned by the battlements once covered in golden leaves. After passing through several owners, in the 1890’s the baron Giorgio Franchetti renovated the palace, where he placed his extensive art collection as a gift to Venice; this included 250 pieces, among which masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, De Chirico and Magritte.
Ca’ Farsetti is a typical example of Veneto-byzantine architecture of the late 13th century. Property of the Dandolo family, it was initially the residence of the Doge Andrea Dandolo in the mid-14th century, a man known for his great culture and mildness, and a dear friend of the poet Francesco Petrarca. At the end of the 1600’s the house was sold to the Farsetti family, and in 1826, after the last heir had squandered the family inheritance, the palace had to be sold and became Venice’s Town Hall.
Ahead you will see a huge palace, darkened by the passing of time; this is Palazzo Grimani, currently home to the city’s Court of Appeal and once residence of the Doge Marino Grimani in the 16th century. The main façade is still the one that gives onto the Grand Canal, and the palace is striking because of its elegance, so much so that the art historian Ruskin called it “the noblest of all Venetian palaces”.
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