Hidden treasures

The foliated room of Palazzo Grimani in Venice

Unknown places & works
palazzo-grimani

The foliated room of Palazzo Grimani in Venice

In the heart of the Castello district there is one of the most spectacular Renaissance buildings in Venice: Palazzo Grimani.

Acquired at the beginning of 1500s by Doge Antonio for his children, the palace was then enlarged and renovated by the Doge's grandson, Giovanni, the Patriarch of Aquileia (1506- 1593).

Giovanni Grimaldi was definitely one of the greatest representatives of the Renaissance culture in Venice: the palace was enlarged and decorated in order to accommodate his amazing collection of Greek and Roman marbles!

The ecclesiastical career of the patriarch suffered a meltdown in 1546 because of an accusation of heresy, from which he had to defend himself in Rome and at the Council of Trent. Despite being found innocent, Grimani failed to get nominated as cardinal which he strongly wanted (he even had a portrait of himself made wearing cardinal's clothes!).

This episode, which anguished him until his death, is illustrated in one of the most beautiful rooms of his palace, the foliated room.

Decorated by the artist Camillo Mantovano around 1660s, it has an incredible frescoed ceiling with a thick forest where birds and plants are depicted (including 'exotic' species just arrived from the New World, such as tobacco and maize).

The lunettes represent animals and mottos in Latin: these are rebuses that allude to the troubled trial for heresy suffered by the patriarch and reiterate his innocence and his faithfulness to the church of Rome.

Today Palazzo Grimani has been turned into a museum, open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.15 am to 7.15 pm. The original architecture, the beauty of the decorations and the troubled history that has marred its events, make it a destination of great charm in Venice tours ... Upon request, Palazzo Grimani can be included in an original guided tour to discover the Venetian Renaissance!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

gondoliere
Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...

View

Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

rosso_tiziano
Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...

View

Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Museo-delle-Nuvole-Monte-Rite-a-Cibiana
Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...

View

Venice: The Twin Bottles: art says NO to plastic in the sea

the_twin_bottles
Did you know that...

Did you know that on the Grand Canal of Venice, near Palazzo Ca' Vendramin Calergi there are two huge floating crushed bottles? They ar...

View

Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

gondola
Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...

View

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

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View