Culture

One Of Venice’s Iconic Landmarks Is Reopening After 500 Years

Good things come to those who wait.

Venice is famed for its historic and architectural beauty. It’s the home of long, snaking canals, ancient cathedrals and the birthplace of 14th century Venetian Gothic architectural styling — the kind you’ll find in Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square).

The Procuratie Vecchie palace takes up the piazza’s north side and, after 500 long years, will reopen to the public. The structure is one of the oldest in the area, consisting of three connected buildings attached to St Mark’s Clocktower, originally built to house the offices and apartments of the procurators of San Marco in the 12th century.

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The last time the building was renovated was back in the 1530s, when it was meticulously decorated with extravagant paintings and ornate ceilings, and was reserved for politicians and royalty.

Since its construction, the Procuratie Vecchie has changed hands many times, with its most recent occupant, Assicurazioni Generali (The Generali Group) directing the renovations. Architect David Chipperfield will design and renovate all four stories of the palace.

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The revamped space will have rooms for art exhibitions, installations and seminars, as well not-for-profit organisation Human Safety Net, which organises and supports initiatives like refugee-owned startups and raising children in poverty.

The palace is UNESCO world heritage listed, meaning all materials will have to be transported via the waterway to protect the city from potential damage, so it’s no wonder the renovations aren’t set to wrap up until 2020.

How To Get There

  • Fly into Venice Marco Polo Airport
  • Walk 750m to Vaporetto dock
  • Take the A towards per S. Maria del Giglio to Rialto
  • Walk 500m
  • Piazza San Marco

 

(Lead Image: Andrew Stawarz / Flickr)