In San Polo district, not far away from the crowded Rialto market, on a calm and quiet little Campo, stands the imposing Palazzo Albrizzi, with its distinguished Renaissance appearance.
This palace was the ancestral mansion of the House of Albrizzi, a wealthy and influent family who climbed Venetian society to the top.
Albrizzi were a merchant family from Bergamo (Lombardy), and they had interests in olive oil trade with Crete. They moved to Venice of the 16th century: in that time the Republic of Venice was at war with its bitter enemies – the Turks, and because of it, the Republic was continuously looking for funds and support.
The Albrizzi family saw an opportunity in those conditions of need, and they seized it. They spontaneously offered, free of charge, their mercantile ships to the Venetian government, to support the Navy.
As a result, their social position and their wealth started to progressively grow: in 1667 they bought Venetian noble title and in the years between 1642 and 1692 the Albrizzi family acquired and restored their new home, which we today know as the Albrizzi Palace. It took them 50 years to create one of most sublime examples of Venetian interior.
Famous masters Abbondio Stazio and Carpoforo Mazzetti Tencalla worked on producing those sumptuous and exuberant stucco ceilings. The interior of this palace is among the most outstanding achievements in Fine Arts of the 17th century Venice.
In the Squared Ballroom you can admire 28 Amorini fluttering on a stucco ceiling as well as an enchanting Murano glass chandelier.
The grand ‘Portego’ – the main room found on the piano nobile – is decorated with magnificent stucco ceiling, framing three beautiful paintings by internationally acclaimed Maestro Antonio Pellegrini, dating back to the early 18th century.
Try to imagine lady Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi, hosting her literary salon in those beautifully decorated rooms: her friends used to meet there and discuss art and philosophy, science and politics. Among her guests you could have met a great sculptor Antonio Canova, Lord Byron and famous Italian Romantic writers, such as Ugo Foscolo. Rumour has it, Antonio Canova portrayed Isabella in his bust of ‘Helen of Troy’, nowadays conserved at St. Petersburg Hermitage.