• About

    Palazzo Balbi is a Renaissance palace in Venice, located in the sestiere (district) of Dorsoduro, overlooking the Grand Canal between Ca’ Foscari and Palazzo Caotorta Angaran.

    Palazzo Balbi is the official seat of the President of the Veneto Region and of the Regional Council.



    Palazzo Balbi was built in the second half of the 16th century, to a design by Alessandro Vittoria, to be the residence of the Balbi family.

    The construction of the palace started in 1582 and was completed in 1590.

    Many restorations followed over the years, including that of 1737 commissioned by Lorenzo Balbi, and a subsequent one which saw the addition of the works by Jacopo Guarana.

    In 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte was hosted in the palace, and was able to attend from its balcony the regatta organized in his honor.

    Over the years, the palace was often rented out, to other families from the Venetian patriciate – the Pisanis, the Valmaranas and the Biondis.

    In 1887, Palazzo Balbi passed to Michelangelo Guggenheim, who chose it as the seat of his Industrial Arts Laboratories, modernized it and brought there his personal art collection.

    In 1925, the palace passed to the Adriatic Electricity Company. During the renovation oversaw by the company, one of the two monumental staircases was demolished.

    In 1971, Palazzo Balbi became the property of the Veneto Region, which made it one of its most prestigious headquarters, where the president of the region lives. In 1973, it underwent a new renovation.



    Palazzo Balbi

    Palazzo Balbi has three floors, with a mezzanine and an attic.

    The facade, perfectly symmetrical, shows the first signs of the Baroque architecture, while still respecting the Renaissance forms.

    On the ground floor, the facade has a large round portal in the center, bearing a mask and enriched by a broken triangular tympanum, embellished with further decorations in the upper part.

    On the sides, there are two minor portals, decorated also with broken tympanums.

    The two noble floors, of equal size, are vertically tripartite by means of pilasters and separated horizontally by a thick stringcourse.

    Centrally, the noble floors have round arched three-light windows superimposed with pairs of Ionic columns and a balustrade.

    On the sides of the three-light windows, there are pairs of rectangular single lancet windows. Two coats of arms of the Balbi family are inserted between the single lancet windows on the first noble floor.

    Under the notched cornice, there are six small oval windows, inserted in a stone frame. This motif is inspired by the work of Jacopo Sansovino, and was used later also by Baldassarre Longhena.

    On the roof, dominating the facade, there are two pinnacles in the shape of an obelisk, recalling those of Palazzo Belloni Battagia.

    Inside, we can find beautiful 18th-century frescoes by Jacopo Guarana.



    Palazzo Balbi is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Santa Lucia railway station. The closest vaporetto stop is San Toma, about 160 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1 and 2.

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