After you pass the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, on the Grand Canal, coming from Ponte dell’Accademia, you have on your right a relatively small but very elegant palace, built in Gothic style with Renaissance elements, called Palazzo Dario or, closer to the Venetian language, Ca’ Dario.
It is not known exactly when Palazzo Dario was built, but some say that it underwent a major reconstruction in 1487 and the architect Pietro Lombardo was the one who dealt with the project. The architect restored the palace for the Venetian Senator Giovanni Dario, an important man of those times, diplomat and trader alike.
After the death of Giovanni Dario, in 1494, the palace was inherited by his illegitimate daughter, Marietta. Married to Vincenzo Barbaro, she has practically brought the palace to the Barbaro family, which already owned two palaces – one in the immediate vicinity (Palazzo Barbaro Wolkoff) and one on the other side of Canal Grande, closer to Ponte dell’Accademia, Palazzo Barbaro.
Ca’ Dario will be in the possession of the Barbaro family until the middle of the 19th century. After that, it will change its owners several times until 2006, when it will be bought by some Americans who still own it.
The palace is built in a Venetian Gothic style, with rounded arcades that overlook the Grand Canal, but also with lance-shaped arcades on the opposite side. On the marble-covered facade, the decorations are in a Byzantine or even Arabic style, elements also found, for example, in the architecture of the St. Mark’s Basilica.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to Ca’ Dario, the waterbus station you need to get off is Salute, about 200 meters away. To reach the Salute station, you will need to take the vaporetto Line 1 from Piazzale Roma to San Marco, or from any other station through which it passes.
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