The Venetian-Byzantine
Quadruple round-arched windows

The well
with the Cappello coat-of-arms

The garden's well
with the Malipiero coat-of-arms

The garden entrance

The Venetian - Byzantine door
on which are sculpted the Malipiero coat-of-arms

The Cà Grande of Saint Samuel


As with most Venetian palaces, the Cà Grande (big palace) of San Samuele is built as two main superposed floors, but unlike the other palaces, each floor is accessed by its own independent entrance hall, stairway and porta d'acqua (water door).
Through the ancient byzantine door one accesses "the secondo piano nobile" (second main floor). The main door opens onto a large seventeenth century entrance hall leading to the magnificent "primo piano nobile" (first main floor) and to the ancient medieval court-yard, the nineteenth century garden and the door on the Grand Canal.
The architectural development of the Cà Grande of San SamueleSamuele is similar to the traditional evolution of many Venetian palaces, the freedom and the harmony of structures underpinning the vivid rhythms and original fascination of the city. In fact the structure of the building is made of three parts, each closely merged the others, representing three eras: the Byzantine, the Gothic and Seventeenth century's one.

The original part of the building was probably built between the 10th and the 11th century by Soranzo family in Veneto-Byzantine style, as evidenced by the large door (number 3201) and the four-lights window with round arches (later amalgamated into the gothic structure) visible on the San Samuele side.
In the middle of the 14th century, the Soranzo added a second floor to the Cà Grande, as the pointed arch windows. This Gothic design was perfectly mixed with the floor below, respecting and incorporating elements of the Byzantine construction.
By mid of 15th century the Cappellos decided to expand the ancient Palace, too narrow at that time. Building on an anused area, on the garden' side, the facade on the Grand Canal was widened to the dimension we enjoy today.

Restorating and enlarging the building was also the main concern of Caterino Malipiero, as the date 1622 and the initials K.M. (Caterino Malipiero) engraved on the main door accessing the new large Palace entrance. The family’s coat-of-arms with cock's claws is also proudly sculpted there. In the second half of the seventeenth century, Palazzo Malipiero, with its architectural aspect that ignores Baroque, was one of the richest and most meaningful buildings in Venice.

In the first half of 18th century the Malipiero family, in accordance with an architectural project now lost, decided to enlarge their Palace connecting it with some houses abutting it on its rear, eliminating the street (named Calle Malipiero)that separeted them. The facade on Campo San Samuele was extended backwards by 30 meters; the garden was widened to include part of the already existing Ramo Malipiero which bodered the Palace on the garden side, and a new perspective was created from the Palace's main entrance to the garden.
This can be easily seen on the drawing of 1718 by Luca Carlevarjs reproduced in the site home page. On it the palace ended just after the two main entrances and a Calle borders its back and separates it from the other houses that now are part of the building. The drawing clearly depict further back the Calle della Commedia where Giacomo Casanova was born, and which was later renamed Calle Malipiero.

During the 19th century the venerable Cà Grande of the Soranzos, Cappellos and Malipieros was neglected but kept intact in its Seventeenth-century structure; and was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the palace saw some restoration. Then, in the early 1950' the Barnabò family started a complete renovation project. The works, directed by Nino Barbantini restored the ancient charm to the palace, its interiors and to the garden.

Exhibition spaces in Palazzo Malipiero
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