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“Hidden, but great to find!”

Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Ranked #37 of 800 things to do in Venice
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The tallest spiral staircase of Venice is a perfect synthesis of different architecture styles (Renaissance, Gothic and Venetian-Byzantine). It was commissioned by Pietro Contarini in late 1400 as a decorative element of the adjacent family's Palazzo. Even today there are several hypotheses about the authorship of the manufacturer. The monument can be considered a unique architectural jewel in the lagoon, the new Renaissance expression that was establishing in the city. The Scala is connected to the palace by three floors lodges. At the top there is the Belvedere with a wonderful view of Venice, from here you can see the domes and the Campanile di San Marco, the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, and even the Teatro la Fenice.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed July 23, 2013

It’s sort of hidden away from the main tourist area even though it’s only a 10 min. walk from St. Mark’s Square. When we got there we were the only ones there and had some time to take some nice pictures. After about 10 minutes, 2 groups of tourists arrived and the area in front of the house was filled with tourists. It's definitely a nice house to go and see as it is so different from all the other houses in Venice. The big spiral staircase on the outside makes the house stand out as it can even be seen from the top of the clock tower on St. Mark’s Square.

Thank LiWo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"beautiful staircase"
in 12 reviews
"leaning tower of pisa"
in 8 reviews
"narrow alley"
in 7 reviews
"ghost tour"
in 8 reviews
"architectural gem"
in 6 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 14 reviews
"interesting building"
in 8 reviews
"off the beaten track"
in 19 reviews
"climb the stairs"
in 6 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 5 reviews
"take pictures"
in 5 reviews
"marks square"
in 5 reviews
"walking tour"
in 8 reviews
"st mark's square"
in 7 reviews
"bell tower"
in 6 reviews
"audio guide"
in 5 reviews
"rooftops"
in 16 reviews
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412 - 416 of 1,278 reviews

Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

The stair case is quite interesting, but unfortunately it's closed. Still it was nice to see it with my own eyes. It's not easy to find and it's easy to get lost as it is not on a public square, through an alleyway that isn't marked.

1  Thank ThePermanentTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

It's a shame that this is closed for the long-term because it's an intriguing building and it would be nice to get a closer look. You can see it well from outside its fence though and it's worth a visit and a few snaps - the staircase itself is amazing. Apparently it was built in such a way that the owner could ride his horse upstairs and you can clearly see how the design might work (hard riding for the horse though!). Good seeing it near-to because you get to see it from above if you get to the top of St Mark's Campanile or the Torre dell'Orologio and you'll wonder what it is!

1  Thank Hetmeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

I found this particular gem by reading the previous reviews on tripadvisor in the section things to do in Venice. Intrigued by the pictures, I wanted to see this building so I aimed to discover its location. It is out of the common touristic paths so I will try to suggest the best way to localize it for the next visitors. Find piazza Manin ( Manin square ), it is easy to recognize it, there is the statue of the patriot with a winged lion. Have a look around the square, you will find a small indication in one small street ( "vicoletto " ) that ends in the square. The indication is smaller compared the others that walk people to Rialto or San Marco so pay attention. Follow the signals and enjoy the vision of this hidden jewel. It is a pity that is not open to visitors but reading the latest news it seems that the building is under restoration so, hopefully, it will be accessible in the next years. A perfect balance between Gothic and Renaissance art.

4  Thank Andrea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 11, 2013

You can see this from the top of the campanile. To find it at ground level takes some studying.
Once you find this your are amazed at how breathtaking it is close up. To design this, let alone build it, is simply to good to miss.

Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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