Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

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Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Entrance Ticket

1. Venice: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Entrance Ticket

Discover a masterpiece of architecture tucked away off the main streets of Venice and get stunning views with an entrance ticket to the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Get up close to its unique, external multiple arch spiral staircase, known as the "Scala Contarini del Bovolo" ("Of the Snail"). Take a closer look at its remarkable mix of Renaissance, Gothic and Byzantine styles, and then get an impressive view of the city rooftops. Go to the arcade at the top of the stairs and gaze down at the maze of streets and canals.

Venice: The Ghost & Legends Walking Tour

2. Venice: The Ghost & Legends Walking Tour

Starting in Campo San Bartolomeo, this 1.5-hour walking tour takes you to the hidden corners of Venice. A qualified guide will lead you through winding streets and eerie squares and tell you tales of mystery, murder and superstition. This tour covers areas of Venice after dark including hidden squares and darkened alleys, that otherwise you might not have the courage to visit. Walk through the Castello district as you learn about Venetian doges and noblemen. Hear about unrequited love, the ghostly sounds outside the Malibran Theater and tales of tragic deaths. Head to Campo San Giovanni and Paolo, and then walk along the foreboding Fondamenta Nuova, across from a cemetery. Hear the story of the unburied child, said to be seen in the murky lagoon. The tour ends in the Cannaregio district.

Venice: 2-Hour Tour with Gondola Ride

3. Venice: 2-Hour Tour with Gondola Ride

Experience the majestic beauty of Venice by land and water on a combined walking tour and gondola ride. Discover the heart of the city from unusual points of view. First, take a stroll around some of the city’s fabled streets. Discover hidden gems and famous sites, such as the legendary Teatro La Fenice. Marvel at a hidden masterpiece of architecture at the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, a multi-arch spiral staircase on the outside of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Wander down some of the tiny “calle” (alleys) often missed by many tourists. Experience the hustle and bustle of everyday life around the Rialto Bridge, once the center of commercial life in the city. Go to some of the quieter sestiere (districts) before climbing aboard a gondola. Experience the city by its traditional mode of transport as you glide down canals that the larger boats can’t reach. See miraculous palaces and romantic bridges as you watch your gondolier, dressed in a distinctive blue and white striped shirt, punt along the hidden canals.

Venice: Private Walking Tour with Optional Gondola Ride

4. Venice: Private Walking Tour with Optional Gondola Ride

Enjoy a relaxing 2-hour guided walk away from the main tourist sites and crowds. Make your way through the labyrinth of alleyways towards the famous opera house La Fenice which burned down and has now been rebuilt to its original glory, then a quiet walk towards Palazzo Fortuny once known as Palace of the Orpheans. See the ornate Bovolo spiral staircase (known as ‘of the snail’) tucked away in a tiny courtyard, then onto a view of the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal, Marco Polo’s house and much more. Take advantage of your expert guides and learn about the Venetian dialect. Hear the history of this enchanting city from your local guides. Discover the extraordinary architectural masterpieces and why they were built that way, learn how Venice lost out on the trade routes when the New World was discovered, leaving Venice medieval forever. Strolling along the narrow streets, “calle” to encounter hidden away treasures. Explore the particular difficulties Venice has to face. This tour will leave you knowing so much more about this not so practical but precious city. Upgrade your tour to include an optional relaxing 30-minute gondola ride from the gondola station of Santa Maria del Giglio next to the Gritti Palace Hotel.

Venice: Hidden Venice 75-Minute Walking Tour

5. Venice: Hidden Venice 75-Minute Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Venice to experience a more authentic side of the extraordinary city. Follow an unusual itinerary to discover some of the city’s most beautiful sights not normally included on regular tours. Meander through the historical heart to see the exteriors of famous architectural masterpieces, such as La Fenice Opera House and the Rialto Bridge. Your experienced guide will provide valuable information and curious anecdotes from the city’s long history. Continue to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo to discover a fine example of Gothic architecture in a city that often seems dominated by the Byzantine. See the original multi-arch, external staircase of the palace, chosen by Orson Welles as one of the main locations for his 1952 adaptation of Shakespeare's “Othello.”

Secret Venice & Gondola Tour

6. Secret Venice & Gondola Tour

Explore a lesser-known side of Venice on a 2-hour tour of the city’s hidden piazzas and palaces. In the company of a professional multilingual guide, you will set off from the Venice Pavillon, in front of the Royal Gardens near San Marco Square and stroll for approximately 90 minutes through little squares and down narrow canal-side streets. Head for the world-famous Fenice Theatre, completely restored inside after the disastrous fire of 1996. See San Fantin Church, a harmonious Renaissance building built initially by Scarpagnino and extended by Sansovino. You will then proceed towards Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo to view its unusual spiral staircase overlooking the tiny courtyard. The tour ends back near San Marco Square, where you will swap land for water and enjoy a 30- minute gondola ride along some of Venice’s beautiful canals.

Venice: Walking Tour and Shared Gondola Ride

7. Venice: Walking Tour and Shared Gondola Ride

Discover the greatest treasures of 'minor Venice' on this 2-hour combined walking tour and gondola ride. Start things off on a dreamy note, drifting along the Grand Canal and some of Venice’s minor canals on a romantic gondola ride. Once you're back on dry land, visit the famous Fenice Theater, which was completely destroyed in 1996 by a fire. You can see the completely reconstructed theater from the outside before heading to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, a Gothic construction in Calle della Vida. The building features a large variety of arcades and a parapet with little columns that follow the line of the staircase. Thanks to its wonderful exterior, the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is considered one of the architectural jewels of Venice. Hidden inside a small courtyard close to Campo Manin, it reflects the typical Venetian character of the period when it was built, combining elements of the Renaissance with the techniques of the Gothic-Byzantine period. Continue on to the Rialto Bridge, the most famous walkway across the Grand Canal. It was constructed from stone by Antonio da Ponte between 1588 and 1591. The structure is formed by 2 inclined ramps, flanked by shops on each side and covered by a portico.

Venice: 2-Hour Secret Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

8. Venice: 2-Hour Secret Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Start your tour on land, as your expert guide leads you to famous buildings such as La Fenice Opera House, as well as more curious and peculiar ones such as Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, with its elegant spiral staircase. At La Fenice Theatre, visit its remarkable exteriors, restored several times and finally brought back to glory. Continue to the Rialto area, the oldest part of Venice which preserves the customs and traditions of the city. See the famous Rialto Bridge, with its unique staircase, densely populated by many shops. After a stroll through the narrow streets of Venice, hit the water. Discover the Basilica della Salute, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture, for a different perspective. Navigate through the minor canals of Venice, leaving the more famous Grand Canal and heading to other important and majestic places. 

Venice: Evening Ghost and Legends Walking Tour

9. Venice: Evening Ghost and Legends Walking Tour

The Venice Ghost Walking Tours feature a delightful sightseeing route through Hidden Venice that provides the perfect stage upon which your guide will introduce you to Ghost Stories and Legends from Venice's Past & Present. Stroll through narrow passageways, cross sleepy canals and abandoned piazzas (campi) to discover that Venice by night is a city of romance and mystery. During the Venice Ghost Walk you'll hear six intriguing ghost stories that will bring a chill to the night air. Throughout these 90-minute Venice Ghost Walking Tours your knowledgeable and entertaining guides will also entertain you with ghost stories and legends about Venice and the Venetians themselves. Mind your step, as you follow your guide on this Ghost Walking Tour of Venice as you don't want to wake the dead! We'll cross several Ancient cemeteries hidden beneath the streets and campi of the modern-day city of Venice. And as you navigate the labyrinth of Hidden Venice you'll see numerous architectural gems lost in the backstreets of Venice that include the famous Bovolo staircase. Built by a wealthy Venetian, at a time when Venetians still travelled around the city on horse-back, this elaborate staircase enabled the nobleman to ride his horse up to his private apartments. You'll explore a secret passage-way, one of the few remaining ones left in the city. The lover of a noble Venetian lady used this passageway to gain access to her private apartments without the knowledge of her husband (access subject to water-levels). With stories of rat-infested prison cells that flooded during high tide, and a stroll along the "Calle dei Assassini" there will be many other surprises along the way. The Tour ends close to the Rialto Bridge.

2-Day Venice Trip From Rome - Private Tour

10. 2-Day Venice Trip From Rome - Private Tour

On the first day, depart from the Roma Termini Train Station at 6:50 AM. In three and a half hours you will reach the Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station, where you will meet your guide. Upon arrival in Venice, you will check in at the hotel. Your unforgettable journey will start from here. Walking along the Grand Canal and crossing the historic center of Cannaregio with its delightful little streets, you will head towards to San Marco Square where you can admire the most famous monuments of Venice, such as the 700-year-old basilica of San Marco and its museum as well as the San Marco Campanile. Also see the Clock Tower of the first Renaissance building, the Ducal Palace in Venetian Gothic style and the Bridge of Sighs, where you can take romantic and unforgettable photos. After lunch, you will head for the magnificent Rialto Bridge, where you can admire the splendid view of the Grand Canal and stroll through the ancient Rialto market. Afterwards you will visit the historical Panoramic Terrace of Fontego dei Tedeschi, now the residence of some of the most famous brand shops, where you can enjoy the best view of Venice. Then have dinner at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel to end day one of your trip.  On the second day, you will meet with your guide at 9:00 AM in front of the hotel and head to the vaporetto station. There you will board a boat in the direction of the extraordinary Santa Maria della Salute, located at Punta della Dogana between the Canale Grande and Giudecca. During the short trip, you can admire the Grand Canal and its breathtaking view from the sea. Upon arrival, you will visit the 17th-century Basilica built in Baroque style and here you can take some remarkable photos. Afterwards, you will head to the Accademia Bridge, where you can admire a different panoramic view of the Grand Canal. After lunch, you will go to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, the hidden treasure of Venice, a staircase characterized by a style between Renaissance, Gothic and Byzantine. Then you will be satisfied with the wonderful views of the city thanks to a traditional gondola ride that will show you the best of the Venice canal. After your gondola ride, you will board a vaporetto and return to your hotel. Take your bags and go to the train station where you catch the train at 4:35 PM back to Rome.

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What people are saying about Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 1,396 reviews

Our guide Gentiana was amazing! We are grateful and grateful to her who, in addition to her deep knowledge of Venice, is a woman with a strong gift of empathy. A rarity that we enjoyed very much. A beautiful harmony was created instantly that made all the difference on our private tour. Gentiana made us admire the beauty with amazement. A wise choice of places of cultural and historical interest selected with care and in the smallest details accompanied by exciting and engaging stories. My 11 and 14 year old sons and I were enchanted and fascinated by history, traditions, legends. Two hours of wonder, fly away! Each city should have at least one Gentiana. Congratulations and thank you because "Details make perfection and perfection is not a detail".

Very welcome and even secure. But be careful, be careful when leaving the site, because you are quickly spotted as a tourist. I had my wallet stolen in one of the little streets that border the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.

Thanks to GYG we had the opportunity to access this hidden jewel of Venice, which otherwise would have been difficult to find also because the tickets on the official website “fly” away immediately.

It was great to learn stories that cannot be found immediately on the internet! Tour was varied. Route well thought out. We also liked the small group in which we were traveling.

Very good tour, the tour guide was excellent answering all questions asked and very knowledgeable. The Gondola ride was a real treat at a fraction of the cost