Scala Contarini del Bovolo - Entrance ticket


In the intricate maze of alleyways and canals between the Rialto Bridge and the Academy lies the most famous spiral staircase in Venice: Scala Contarini del Bovolo at Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, a unique architectural treasure that combines the essence of Renaissance, Gothic and Byzantine styles.

On this page you will find all the information you need to plan your visit to the Scala Contarini del Bovolo: tickets, prices, opening hours and also historical notes to fully appreciate this original structure.

The Bovolo staircase in Venice is one of the sights that should not be overlooked by those wishing to discover the city beyond the traditional tourist destinations ... Book online your Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo tickets and enjoy a worry free visit!


How to book
  • Choose the date of your visit and number of tickets. Please bear in mind that this date is indicative: in case of necessity you will be able to use your ticket whenever you prefer, on a date included in opening hours & days of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo.
  • Enter your personal information verifying its accuracy. Once payment is made, the booking cannot be changed, cancelled nor refunded.
  • Please pay by credit card.
  • The entry voucher may be downloaded at the end of the online booking reservation and it will be also sent to you via email. Make sure you enter a valid e-mail address.
  • The voucher must be presented at the ticket office of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo in both printed and electronic format on mobile devices.
  • Ticket prices shown on are the official prices for online sale to the public.
  • Remember to read important info
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Please select an approximate date for your entry ticket. In case of necessity, you can use it also before or after the chosen date.

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Important infoImportant info

Important information

The voucher you will receive at the end of the online booking must be presented at the ticket office of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (Venice, Italy) in both printed and electronic format on mobile devices so that it can be exchanged for the entrance ticket.

The date entered at the time of booking is provisional: the ticket is open date and therefore, if necessary, you can use it at a different date than specified at the time of booking, provided it is included in the opening period of the Bovolo staircase in Venice, Italy.

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo opening hours & days

  • Daily from 10.00 to 13.30 and from 14.00 to 18.00
  • Exceptionally on 27 January 2018, the scheduled time will be from 10am to 5.30pm
  • Closed: 1st January, 15th August, 1st November, 25th and 26th December
  • The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the closing time of the museum.

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo prices

Adult: €7,00

Concessions: €6,00 - up to 26 years old and over 65 years old

Entry to Scala Contarini Bovolo, Venice, is free for children up to 12 years old.

Additional concessions and free admissions are available only from the ticket office of Scala Contarini del Bovolo, Venice.

The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo entrance fee includes access to the staircase and the gallery housed on the second floor of the building, which exhibits a selection of sculptures and paintings from the IRE Collection.

The gallery of Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, Venice, Italy, displays a short but significant itinerary dedicated to the arts scene in Venice from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Among the works on show are a sketch of Paradiso by Jacopo Tintoretto for the Hall of the Great Council of the Doge’s Palace, Portrait of Catechumen Lazzaro Zen by Francesco Guardi and a rare papier-mache sculpture by Jacopo Sansovino.

Palazzo Bovolo del Bovolo staircase address

S. Marco 4303, 30124 Venice

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is in the heart of Venice, a short walk from Campo Manin.

Scala Contarini del Bovolo Venice Italy - Visits

People with cardiovascular conditions and mobility impairments are highly discouraged from visiting Bovolo Tower in Venice.

Disabled people: please contact the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo admission office before buying the tickets as the building is not equipped with a lift.

Photographs are allowed only for non-professional purposes and without flash; photo and video shoots can only be made with prior permission from the management.

Visits to Scala del Bovolo, Venice, last 30 minutes, as access is limited to 35 people every half hour.

Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The palace and the staircase can be closed at any time and without notice for reasons of force majeure and/or safety. When possible, prompt notification via email of such variations will be given along with instructions on alternative ways of using the service and/or how to ask for a ticket refund.


The Bovolo staircase in Venice is considered the most valuable example of a spiral staircase building in Venice as it features a perfect amalgam of different architectural styles. The Renaissance capitals, Gothic construction technique and the typical Byzantine Venetian shape make it a real rarity in the city!

The staircase was commissioned by Pietro Contarini towards the end of the 15th century with the aim of connecting the two wings of the palace, built at different times, which the Contarini family had bought a few years earlier. Beyond its functional role, the staircase was built to increase the power and prestige of the family itself via a monumental sculpture meant to become known throughout the city.

The objective was achieved: the staircase reached such high appeal that a distinctive nickname was attached to the branch of the Contarini family that resided in the palace ... Contarini del Bovolo, precisely! Bovolo, in Venetian dialect, is the word for snail shell and its shape is mirrored by the staircase itself.

80 steps and 28 m high: from the domed belvedere at the top of the spiral staircase, Venice appears more beautiful than ever! An all-round view on the rooftops, bell-towers and palaces, right from the heart of the city, that will allow you to admire Venice from a new and exciting perspective!

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

The fascinating history of Palazzo Bovolo in Venice spans over more than five centuries and is characterized by a succession of periods of great splendour and inevitable decline... The Contarinis bought the palace in 1489 from the Morosini di San Paternian Family, who had owned the building since the 13th century. At the time of the purchase, the property was composed of two different buildings – a late Gothic older part and a more recent rectangular building – but was considered inadequate to express the prestige of the powerful Venetian family. To this purpose, an ambitious renovation project of Renaissance inspiration was soon started, during which the famous exterior spiral staircase was built.

In the following centuries the use of the palace for mundane purposes, including as a rented accommodation, inn, the location of the office of a charity organization, partially affected its former elegance due to frequent sub-portioning and rushed repairs.

The last restoration, completed in 2012, returned Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo in Venice, Italy, to its former elegance and recent studies have revealed that the building still has much to tell ... In architectural terms, it could in fact be the missing link between late Gothic and early Renaissance in Venice, given the evident similarities with other buildings, such as Palazzo Ducale in Urbino and Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza, built in Central Italy in the second half of the 15th century.

The Contarini family

A noble family of Venice’s patricians, the Contarinis were one of the pillars of the power of the Serenissima, suffice to say that among its members, over the centuries, were eight doges, three female dogaressa (doge’s spouses), several bishops, cardinals, Venice priors and cardinals, St Marks procurators, ambassadors and bailiffs. The Contarini family was subdivided into numerous branches, one of them being the Contarini del Bovolo one, who had amongst its members Doge Andrea who held one of the most difficult and longest (27 years) doge reigns in the history of Venice.

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