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Palazzo Soranzo attraction and visiting information
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Palazzo Soranzo

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Palazzo Soranzo is a palace composed of two adjacent buildings located in the Sestiere San Polo on Campo San Polo's east side.

History

The palace was built in the 14th century by the Soranzos, a noble family that included a Doge of the Republic of Venice, Giovanni Soranzo, as well as 16 'Procurators of San Marco'. Giovanni Soranzo let Dante Alighieri live in this residence when he was the ambassador of the noble family Da Polenta from Ravenna. This building was only half the present one's size and was gradually enlarged in the 16th century by Giorgione, whose work, however, nothing has been preserved.

The main façade, as was Venetian tradition, faced a canal, but this was filled in 1761 so that from then on, the palace stood directly on Campo San Polo.

From 1987 to 2002, the palace was the seat of the Chinese Seminar of the Institute of Indology and the Far East of the University of Venice, with an attached library. Today the palace, which has housed all generations of the family, belongs again to descendants of the Soranzos.

Architecture

The building is composed of the old Palazzo Soranzo (the left part of the building) and the new one (the right part of the building), three full floors, and a mezzanine floor under the roof. The two parts of the palace are in Venetian Gothic style and painted with the same color, forming a unified building. However, if you look at the characteristics of the fenestration, you can immediately see that the building on the right is the younger one and was built in the late Gothic period.

The older part of the palace has two asymmetrically arranged non-gothic portals, which probably date back to a time before the two main floors' window openings. The latter has two symmetrically superimposed quadruple windows with marble frames elegantly decorated with half reliefs with symmetrical motifs of fauns and other mythological figures.

The new part of the palace, on the other hand, has only one portal, which is also neither symmetrical nor Gothic (together with a small window with a lunette set in a frame) and shows a different fenestration on the two main floors. There is an eight-paned window with valuable marble decorations on the second floor, while the second floor has a four-paned window reminiscent of those of the old palace part.

As for the interiors, witnesses report pieces of furniture and works of art of great value (perhaps even a painting by Giorgione), but today large parts have been lost.

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