Frescoes, soft pastel and stucco walls, and luxurious furnishings adorn this 16th-Century mansion known as the Palazzo Querini Stampalia, or the Fondazione (Foundation) Querini Stampalia. During your travel to Venice, this is one place you should strongly consider seeing. A lesser-known Venice palazzo and gallery, it was once inhabited by several generations of the Querini Stampalia family, one of the first families of Venice dating back as far as the 1200s. It’s difficult to tell from the outside of the palace the complete splendor contained inside.
The final heir to the Querini’s fortune was Count Giovanni Querini Stampalia. Count Giovanni formed a foundation enabling the palace to have preserved the family’s heritage, and the heritage of all of Venice in so many ways where time all but stands still here. An impressive art collection by Venetian greats such as Tiepolo, Bellini, Giordano, Longhi, and even a scribe named Gabriel Bella are contained within the mansion.
Here Gabriel Bella’s famous documentary paintings are displayed, which number over 60, and are from the 17th and 18th Centuries. There are 30 genre-scene paintings by Pietro Longhi (1702-1785). Incidentally, Longhi’s paintings are also featured at the better- known Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Correr Museum.
Crystal chandeliers illuminate the palace where visitors can get a true taste of what life was like in Venice surrounded by such beauty, riches and good fortune as were members of the Querini Stampalia family. The lightness and cheerfulness of the palace have a great capacity to rub off on its visitors.
Count Giovanni never married, much to his father’s dismay. Instead, the Count devoted his life to the study of physics and other sciences, travel, repossessing and managing the family’s substantive estates, and creating a library within the palazzo (which means palace) to be utilized after his death in 1869 for Venetian scholars to congregate from all walks of life. The majority of the palace’s living quarters were on the second floor, but the garden and the ground floor are equally impressive!
Indeed Count Giovanni wanted also wanted his home to serve as a cultural center for the city of Venice and its citizens. And while the majority of the palace’s living quarters were on the second floor, visitors will find the gardens and the ground floor to be airy, impressive and stately all at the same time.
The Palazzo Querini Stampalia is located between San Marco and the Rialto Bridge within the Castello neighborhood (or sestieri, which means neighborhood). The Santa Maria Formosa Church is adjacent to the Querini Stampalia Palace for which the Querini Stempalia family had a hall connecting their home to the church. The chamber contains beds and frescoed ceilings along with bright yellow-green lacquered floral decorations.
For more information about the palace, visit the official website here.