Protected like a treasure in a narrow calle of Venice, stands a magnificent spiral staircase. An artistic and architectural monument of infinite beauty.
There are no streets here, but only canals flanked by Renaissance and Gothic architectural buildings of enchanted beauty, the same ones that lead to the beating heart of the city, the one where, in the central square, stands the great basilica that preserves the Byzantine mosaics, where there is the bell tower whose top offers a fantastic view over the red roofs that shore up the lagoon. This is Venice, an extraordinary city full of charm and beauty, of mysteries and legends, of hidden corners and precious treasures to be discovered.
There are museums and galleries, bridges and secret gardens and then there is a palace, located near the most popular tourist streets, which preserves an authentic jewel. A bovolo, to say it in dialect, a spiral staircase that enchants and amazes at every step taken.
Near Campo Manin, where the monument dedicated to the patriot of the same name stands out, a narrow side street leads us to a building that belonged to one of the most important and powerful families of the Serenissima: the Contarini. It was Pietro, a descendant of the family, who, towards the end of the 15th century, had an extraordinary and graceful spiral staircase built, hence the name of bovolo, in his palace.
The incredible building, attributed to the Venetian architect Giovanni Candi, winds in height for 26 meters and is perfectly set within a wall cylinder. In all, there are 80 monolithic steps that make up this whirling climb towards the Venice sky in an anti-clockwise direction. All around there are bricks and Istrian stone, the arches that overlook the city of Venice. There are the Gothic, Renaissance, and Byzantine styles that come together and blend and blend together, creating a masterpiece of art and architecture to be explored and contemplated.
The journey inside this Venetian treasure ends there, on the terrace which offers one of the most splendid views of the wonderful and romantic lagoon.
Treasures are meant to be protected, but also to be found. The Scala del Bovolo is located just a few minutes from Piazza San Marco, however, you must pay close attention to the calle which opens right in the middle of Campo Manin. Raise your eyes because the road is indicated by a plaque bearing the words Scala Contarini del Bovolo. Once you take the street you will find yourself in the presence of this monumental Venetian jewel.
Tickets to visit the bovolo are available on-site or can be purchased online. Once inside the Contarini palace, you will be intoxicated by the colors and floral motifs, by the very rich details, and by that riot of styles. Deserves a stop on the second floor where you can access the Tintoretto room which houses some of the most important works of art in Venice made between 1500 and 1700.
Continuing upwards, however, you arrive at the panoramic terrace, a secret viewpoint that offers one of the most beautiful views of the lagoon at any time of day.
According to a popular legend, Pietro Contarini had another spiral staircase built inside the building to reach his bedroom on horseback.
On the Bovolo terrace, however, in 1859, the German astronomer Ernst Wilhelm Tempel discovered comet C/1859 and the Merope nebula, a star in the constellation of Taurus.