A route aimed at discovering the wonderful Venetian stately palaces located on the banks of the city's magical canals
(by Didier Descouens, CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)
Ca’ Loredan (short for Palazzo Corner Piscopia, Loredan) is a Venetian palace located in the sestiere of San Marco and overlooking the Grand Canal, not far from the Rialto Bridge. It is the seat, along with the adjacent Ca’ Farsetti, of the lagoon city’s city hall.
Ca’ Loredan was founded in the 13th century as a Venetian-Byzantine fondaco for the Boccasi family, which died out in the 15th century. According to some historians, it became the home of Doge Jacopo Contarini after he retired to private life and passed it to the Zane family. In the following centuries, it was enlarged and heavily modified by the Cornaro Piscopia family, who took possession of it during the 14th century according to the wishes of Federico Corner, the richest merchant of his time: the heaviest renovation was carried out during the 16th century. In 1646 Elena Lucrezia Cornaro, a philosopher who went down in history for being the first woman graduate in history, was born there: she received that title on June 25, 1678. The event, which had a wide international echo, is remembered by a marble plaque bearing an inscription. In 1703 it became the home of the Loredans, who obtained it through a marriage between a daughter of Girolamo Corner and Giovanni Battista Loredan. It became the property in 1806 of Countess Campagna Peccana and was converted into a hotel. It passed to the municipality of Venice in 1867 and became the city hall seat along with Ca’ Farsetti: new renovations heavily altered its original plan.
Palazzo Loredan is a building whose oldest core is in the Venetian-Byzantine style, being among the buildings on the Grand Canal that most preserve traces of it despite renovations. The ground floor centrally has a portico enclosed by five raised arches, supported by four Corinthian columns, above which, on the main floor, is a “heptaphora” (seven windows) in the same style. On either side of the arcade, symmetrically, are two round-headed windows, to which correspond a three-mullioned window on the main floor. Such forometry is enclosed by Byzantine decorations, mostly in circular form. The second noble floor, though later attempts to emulate the first’s style, features a vast central polyphora, echoed by single-lancet windows on the sides. The floor contains the Salone del Consiglio, inside which are works of art by Benedetto Caliari, Gregorio Lazzarini, and Bonifacio Veronese.