Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Venice Italy
Tucked away from common view, it might be easy for the everyday passerby to miss the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. It’s kind of like a small, hidden palace that used to be owned by the Contarini family.
Like a lot of the popular structures in Venice, this one is old—it was constructed in the 15th century—but beautiful. If you decide to stop by this tourist spot, you can get to the palace by passing through a tiny alley called the Calle della Vida.
Translated, the palace is known as “snail house” (bovolo means snail). This isn’t just its name because it is hidden from view, it also got this nickname from the fact that the main attraction of the palace is an elegant staircase that winds itself up in spirals in a beautiful way.
The palace was designed by two architects, with the first one being Giovanni Candi who designed the structure in 1499. The second architect was Giorgio Spavento, who was responsible for the stairs. He designed it with numerous connecting arches, so that almost the entire side is exposed to the light. Not only is this tourist attraction a work out, you are also pleasantly rewarded at the top of the stairs by a breathtaking view of Venice.
When you visit the palace, it doesn’t feel old and scary like those other places you might imagine with staircases leading down into the dungeon. You’ll be happy to discover that this place is quite the opposite, giving the feel of fresh air, breath ability and light.
Going up and down the staircase actually kind of reminds you of the elaborate structures in Star Wars. So it’s actually no surprise that the Palazzo del Bovolo was used to film Shakespeare’s Othello when it was adapted to the silver screen in 1952. No doubt you’ll get lots of great photos at this spot!