SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO

SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO

The Scala Contarini del Bovolo – one of the most precious architectural treasures of Venice – reopenes its doors to visitors

On 30th January, 2016, one of the most impressive architectural treasures of Venice reopened its doors to visitors: the Scala Contarini del Bovolo. Hidden from the main touristic road, this spiral staircase is one of the most valuable buildings in Venice and it’s characterized by an unique style that is among Renaissance and Byzantine.

It reopened after more than 30 years of restoration: a complex intervention has been necessary because of the poor state of conservation. The restoration project was developed in 1980 by architect Mario Piana of the Superintendent of Environmental and Architectural Heritage.

The Scala Contarini del Bovolo is very close to Campo Manin – not far from Rialto bridge, along the road that connects it to the Accademia bridge. The staircase is 26 meters tall and 4,7 meters in diameter: it has 80 monolithic steps that lead to the top of the building, from where a breath-taking view can be admired. Its name refers to the particular shape of the staircase to snail shell which in Venetian language is said precisely bovolo.

It was commissioned by Pietro Contarini probably around the end of 1400 in order to decorate the the adjacent Palace of San Paternian, owned by an illustrious Venetian family. The realization of this work, in fact, did not have at first a functional purpose, but consisted mainly of an act of prestige and aimed mainly to a growth in the popularity of the family.
The creation of the scale had such a wide appeal that have led Venetians to call that branch of the family – using the same nickname of the building – Contarini del Bovolo.

Opening hours
From Tuesday to Sunday:
10:00 – 13:30 and 14:00 – 18:00

Closing day Monday
Closed on August 15th, November 1st, December 25th and 26th, January 1st
Special Opening 2016: March 28th and April 25th