Palazzo Dario is an architectural gem on the most prestigious part of the Grand Canal stretching from the Accademia Bridge to the Salute Church and the Bacino di San Marco.
At the end of the 15th century the palace was remodelled by Pietro Lombardo for the patrician Giovanni Dario, Secretary to the Venetian Senate, diplomat, and merchant, who managed to negotiate a very convenient peace agreement with the Ottomans (Turks). For these tasks the Serenissima had given Dario a large sum of money as a reward,
and he commissioned a house to be built on a pre-existing gothic palace.
The magnificent façade, decorated with circular polychrome marbles inlays, is made of Pietra d’Istria, and reflects the oriental influence, acquired by Dario during his long travels in Egypt and Middle East, then translated in the Veneto taste with the help of the architect.
Differently from the Renaissance façade on the Grand Canal, the rear facade of the palace on the Campiello Barbaro has Gothic trefoil arches, chimneys, and loggia terrace.
A large project of renovation was undertaken at the end of the 19th century, and it didn’t change the façade but completely renewed the interior with a renaissance taste.
The Palace splits over four floors with a ground floor, two noble floors and a third one with bedrooms.
The ground floor, with access both from the Grand Canal and the street, on the rear is opened onto the garden, and has a large hall with columns featuring a red marble well, a large fireplace and an elegant marble staircase that leads to the first noble floor boasting a Moorish fountain installed by Dario.
The second noble floor features elegant halls with Bevilacqua fabrics and antique Murano chandeliers.
On the third floor there are the bedrooms enriched with wainscoting and a wonderful loggia terrace enjoying the charming view of the garden.
In 1494, the palace passed to Dario’s daughter, and it was decorated with precious fabrics and carpets and refurbished during the time by its owners.
The English art critic John Ruskin, great friend of one of the previous owners, was particularly entranced with and wrote about the palace’s Gothic marble-encrusted oculi. The palace belonged also to a Countess who was pleased to surround herself with French and Venetian writers, one of whom — Henri de Régnier.
A large project of renovation at the end of the 19th century included; the staircase, the external chimneys, the majolica stoves, and the fine carvings in the dining room on the second piano nobile, as well as a great deal of stabilization and replacement of marble on the facade.
The Palace is in a refined and peaceful residential Venetian neighbourhood between the Salute Church and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and close to Francois Pinault’s Punta Della Dogana Museum of Contemporary Art and the Zattere waterfront. Close to the vaporetto stops of Accademia, Salute and Zattere Spirito Santo, to a number of shops, and the high-quality restaurants.