• About

    Palazzo Contarini Fasan, also called Casa di Desdemona (House of Desdemona), is one of the smallest palaces overlooking the Grand Canal, located in the sestiere of San Marco, in Venice.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    Palazzo Contarini was built around 1475 and belonged to the Contarini family. The name Fasan is probably derived from the passion of its owners for hunting pheasants.

    Thanks to legend, the palace is traditionally considered the home of Desdemona, a character in William Shakespeare’s play Othello.

     

    ARCHITECTURE

    The palace has a Gothic facade developed in height, on three floors, with no access to water.

    On the ground floor, there are 3 small rectangular windows. On the first floor, there are three lancet windows separated by white stone columns, and a balcony.

    On the second floor, we can find two lancet windows, and between them, under a small square opening, there is the large coat of arms of the Contarini family, in bas-relief.

    The top of the facade is crossed by a jagged cornice, under which can be observed the traces of the 15th-century frescoes that once embellished the entire facade.

     

    HOW TO GET THERE

    The closest waterbus station is Giglio, on the Line 1, but the palace can be best admired from the other bank of the Grand Canal, near the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.

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