Located on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere, Palazzo Rezzonico (also known as Ca' Rezzonico) is an opulent palace that provides a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century Venetian life. It was designed by the Baroque architect Baldassare Longhena, but not completed until 1756 (almost 100 years later) by Giorgio Massari.
The palace is set across three stories, with an opulent marble façade facing the Grand Canal and ornate Baroque decorations. Massari remained true to the original plans of Longhena, only adding a few of his own design elements to reflect architectural developments since the palazzo’s conception.
The Palazzo Rezzonico opened as a museum in 1936, bringing together objects from palazzi across Venice. It’s sumptuously furnished with Baroque and Rococo period pieces, silk wall coverings and Flemish tapestries, together with housing a museum that highlights the importance of luxury goods to the 18th-century Venetian economy. There is an impressive costume collection detailing the importance of Venetian silk production during the period when the city manufactured some of the most exquisite silk fabrics ever made.
The second floor features a frescoed ceiling by Tiepolo entitled “The Allegory of Merit” within its Throne Room, which originally served as bridal chambers. Today it exhibits artifacts relating to the Venetian patrician family of Barbarigo, including an ornate gilt frame surrounding a portrait of Pietro Barbarigo and a gilt throne by Rococo sculptor Antonio Corradini.
There are works by Pietro Longhi, Francesco Guardi and Giandomenico Tiepolo on display throughout the palace, as well as a fine collection of Murano glassware illustrating the exceptional skills of 18th-century Venetian glassmakers.