Ca' Rezzonico Palace

Venice, Italy

Ca' Rezzonico site was previously occupied by two houses belonging to the Bon family, one of Venice's patrician families. In 1649 the head of the family, Filippo Bon decided to build a large palazzo on the site. For this purpose he employed Baldassarre Longhena, the greatest proponent of Venetian Baroque. However, neither architect nor client was to see the completion of the Palazzo Bon: Longhena died in 1682, and Filippo Bon suffered a financial collapse.

Giambattista Rezzonico, merchant and banker, bought the palace in 1751 and appointed Giorgio Massari, one of the most highly esteemed and eclectic artists of the day, to complete the works, which proceeded rapidly and in 1756 the building was finished. While the magnificent facade on the Grand Canal and the second floor followed Longhena’s original project, Massari was responsible for the audacious inventions towards the rear of the palace: the sumptuous land-entrance, the ceremonial staircase and the unusual grandiose ballroom obtained by eliminating the second floor in this portion of the building.

As soon as the building was completed, the most important painters in Venice were called upon to decorate it. These were for example Giambattista Crosato, who painted the frescoes in the ballroom and Giambattista Tiepolo, who painted two ceilings in celebration of the marriage between Ludovico Rezzonico and Faustina Savorgnan.

The building was fully complete by 1758, when Giambattista Rezzonico’s younger brother, Carlo, Bishop of Padua, was elected Pope under the name Clement XIII: this was the peak of the family’s fortunes and the palace at San Barnaba celebrated the event in grand style. But by 1810 no family members were left. For the palace and its great heritage of art and history this was the beginning of a long, troubled period of sales and dispersions. After complex ownerships Ca' Rezzonico was sold to the Venice Town Council in 1935.

Ca' Rezzonico opened as a public museum in 1936. Today, it is one of the finest museums in Venice; this is largely because of its unique character, where objects designed for great palazzi are displayed in a palazzo, thus, the contents and the container harmonise in a way not possible in a purpose built museum. Thus, today the palazzo is more sumptuously furnished than ever before.



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Founded: 1649
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Bart Eekhaut (10 months ago)
Ca'Rezzonico is one of the more impressive palaces of Venice. The first builder could only reach the first floor so the Rezzonico family had to take over and finish the building. The interior is overwhelming with a giant staircase leading to several huge ballrooms. The decorations on the ceilings, the chandeliers, furniture and paintings are all matching together in order to impress. What I liked most however were the somewhat more intimate rooms at the higher level where some of Tiepolo's masterpieces can be seen...his acrobats on the ceiling have a contemporary style that you wouldn't link to the 17nd century. Don't forget to relax after visiting the huge complex and have a ristreto in the museumcaffe...with a splendid view alongside the canal grande. Worth every penny...
tassos k (11 months ago)
You can admire some paintings and also masterpieces from Canalleto. Antique furniture and house hold are displayed. They have a coffee shop with tables at the entrance in front of the Gran Canal. We enjoyed the view by having a break to eat something.
Andreas Saldivar (12 months ago)
Very nice museum with amazing art, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and ceilings. You'll spend much of your time looking up. The ticket is part of the Venice museum pass. Getting that will save you some money and get you into numerous museums.
Isabella Tiger (12 months ago)
Seeing how houses looked and were made in that century was very neat. It was included in the tourist city pass. I highly recommend stopping by. The little café was wonderful as well and the little sandwiches were great. The seating for it is right along the water. The water is station is also right next to the place which is very helpful.
Owe Richard (15 months ago)
Great museum. Impressive ceiling, artwork, furniture. The chandeliers are especially magnificent. Even the views from the residence and out to the canal below gave a magical feeling of how it must have been to live here. Toilets do not work. Some of the staff are very helpful and friendly.
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