Hidden treasures

Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo on the Grand Canal in Venice and the Polignac princes

Unknown places & works
palazzo-contarini-dal-zaffo-polignac

Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo on the Grand Canal in Venice and the Polignac princes

Along the Grand Canal, near the Accademia bridge, there is a beautiful Renaissance palace built in the second half of the fifteenth century, Palazzo Contarini.

In 1901, the building was bought by someone very special: Winaretta Singer (1865- 1943).

Winaretta Singer was the twentieth of the 24 children of Isaac Merritt Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine, and Isabelle Boyer, future Duchess of Camposelice and probable model for the Statue of Liberty.

Though she had publicly declared his homosexuality, at 22 years Winaretta married Prince Louis de Scey-Montbéliard. The marriage was soon declared invalid by the Catholic Church (1891), that saw it as a great scandal.

At 29, she married Prince Edmond de Polignac, who was also homosexual, composer and music theorist 30 years her senior. The marriage was never consummated but lasted until the end, characterized by great respect and deep friendship between husband and wife, made even closer by a common passion for music and the arts.

Prince de Polignac died eight months after the purchase of the palace on the Grand Canal, but Winaretta continued to spend here a lot of time, especially painting (she had been a pupil of the great Monet).

The building is located near the Accademia stop, and can be reached with lines 1 and 2 of the Venetian public transport, and often houses events and temporary exhibitions.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Venice: What to see in the island of Burano

burano
Unknown places & works

The island of Burano is really a sight to behold and a great emotion for your heart: every year thousands of tourists venture into our ...

View

Venice: Discovering the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, what to see and how to reach it

isola_di_san_giorgio_maggiore
Unknown places & works

One of you may have had the chance to photograph, while travelling in Venice, the marvelous panorama in front of the historic St Mark...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View