Of all the sumptuous palaces lining Venice’s Grand Canal, Ca’ Rezzonico is arguably the most magnificent. An outstanding example of Venetian baroque and rococo architecture and décor, this palace and its museum offer a glimpse into the extravagances of 18th-century Venice.
Started by Baldassare Longhena and completed more than a century later by Giorgio Massari, Ca' Rezzonico was owned by one of the Venetian aristocracy's most prominent families; in the same year that Giambattista Rezzonico was finishing work on the palace, his brother Carlo was elected Pope. The intricate canal-side facade is decorated with arcades, porticoes, and arched windows, while the interior features marble staircases, gilded apartments, Murano glass chandeliers, and ballrooms covered in frescoes and trompe l’oeil by Venetian artists such as Giambattista Tiepolo, Pietro Longhi, Giovanni Battista Crosato, and Pietro Visconti. Today, the palace is home to the Museum of 18th-Century Venice, with a collection of furniture and decorations; paintings by Canaletto, Tintoretto, Cima da Conegliano, and others; and frescoes by Giandomenico Tiepolo and Antonio Guardi.
Because of its size and scope, the best way to see Ca' Rezzonico is with a private tour that combines the museum with other highlights in the city of Venice, including St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. A visit to Ca' Rezzonico is also often included in boat tours of the Grand Canal.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Ca' Rezzonico contains almost 20 rooms on three floors, so be prepared to spend some time on your feet and wear comfortable shoes.
- The third floor contains the 18th-century interiors of the Ai Do San Marchi pharmacy, which was once located in Campo San Stin.
- Ca' Rezzonico is wheelchair accessible.
- Large bags, backpacks, and umbrellas must be left at the coat check.
How to Get There
Ca' Rezzonico is located along the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro neighborhood; take vaporetto (water bus) 1 from Piazza San Marco or the Santa Lucia train station to the Ca' Rezzonico stop.
When to Get There
Like all Venice museums, Ca' Rezzonico can be very crowded in summer. The best time to visit is from late fall to early spring. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
Artists and Poets in the Palace
In the 1880s, the palace was owned by English painter Robert Barrett Browning, son of poet Robert Browning, who died there in 1889. The American painter John Singer Sargent also had an apartment in the palazzo during that time.