Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo: Our most recommended tours and activities

Venice: City Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

1. Venice: City Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Explore the best of Venice on a walking city tour with an expert guide. See impressive monuments, marvel at iconic buildings, and travel through the canals of the floating city on an unforgettable gondola ride. Discover the city's main monuments such as the Clock-Tower, Procuratie Vecchie, and the Bell Tower around St. Mark’s Square. Stroll through the famous Mercerie, one of the city’s main shopping districts. Walk past the famous Santa Maria Formosa square, the house of Marco Polo, The Church of San Giovanni and Paolo, and the Rialto Bridge with its traditional market. Wander through small alleys and discover picturesque squares where Venetians gather to socialize. Find hidden gems and learn interesting facts about the places you visit.

Venice: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Entrance Ticket

2. Venice: Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo Entrance Ticket

Discover a masterpiece of architecture tucked away off the main streets of Venice and get stunning views with an entrance ticket to the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Get up close to its unique, external multiple arch spiral staircase, known as the "Scala Contarini del Bovolo" ("Of the Snail"). Take a closer look at its remarkable mix of Renaissance, Gothic and Byzantine styles, and then get an impressive view of the city rooftops. Go to the arcade at the top of the stairs and gaze down at the maze of streets and canals.

Venice: Ghost and Legends Evening Walking Tour

3. Venice: Ghost and Legends Evening Walking Tour

The Venice Ghost Walking Tours feature a delightful sightseeing route through Hidden Venice that provides the perfect stage upon which your guide will introduce you to Ghost Stories and Legends from Venice's Past & Present. Stroll through narrow passageways, cross sleepy canals and abandoned piazzas (campi) to discover that Venice by night is a city of romance and mystery. During the Venice Ghost Walk you'll hear six intriguing ghost stories that will bring a chill to the night air. Throughout these 90-minute Venice Ghost Walking Tours your knowledgeable and entertaining guides will also entertain you with ghost stories and legends about Venice and the Venetians themselves. Mind your step, as you follow your guide on this Ghost Walking Tour of Venice as you don't want to wake the dead! We'll cross several Ancient cemeteries hidden beneath the streets and campi of the modern-day city of Venice. And as you navigate the labyrinth of Hidden Venice you'll see numerous architectural gems lost in the backstreets of Venice that include the famous Bovolo staircase. Built by a wealthy Venetian, at a time when Venetians still travelled around the city on horse-back, this elaborate staircase enabled the nobleman to ride his horse up to his private apartments. You'll explore a secret passage-way, one of the few remaining ones left in the city. The lover of a noble Venetian lady used this passageway to gain access to her private apartments without the knowledge of her husband (access subject to water-levels). With stories of rat-infested prison cells that flooded during high tide, and a stroll along the "Calle dei Assassini" there will be many other surprises along the way. The Tour ends close to the Rialto Bridge.

Venice: 2-Hour Secret Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

4. Venice: 2-Hour Secret Walking Tour and Gondola Ride

Start your tour on land, as your expert guide leads you to famous buildings such as La Fenice Opera House, as well as more curious and peculiar ones such as Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, with its elegant spiral staircase. At La Fenice Theatre, visit its remarkable exteriors, restored several times and finally brought back to glory. Continue to the Rialto area, the oldest part of Venice which preserves the customs and traditions of the city. See the famous Rialto Bridge, with its unique staircase, densely populated by many shops. After a stroll through the narrow streets of Venice, hit the water. Discover the Basilica della Salute, one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture, for a different perspective. Navigate through the minor canals of Venice, leaving the more famous Grand Canal and heading to other important and majestic places. 

Secret Venice & Gondola Tour

5. Secret Venice & Gondola Tour

Explore a lesser-known side of Venice on a 2-hour tour of the city’s hidden piazzas and palaces. In the company of a professional multilingual guide, you will set off from the Venice Pavillon, in front of the Royal Gardens near San Marco Square and stroll for approximately 90 minutes through little squares and down narrow canal-side streets. Head for the world-famous Fenice Theatre, completely restored inside after the disastrous fire of 1996. See San Fantin Church, a harmonious Renaissance building built initially by Scarpagnino and extended by Sansovino. You will then proceed towards Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo to view its unusual spiral staircase overlooking the tiny courtyard. The tour ends back near San Marco Square, where you will swap land for water and enjoy a 30- minute gondola ride along some of Venice’s beautiful canals.

Venice Must-See Sights: Private Guided Tour

6. Venice Must-See Sights: Private Guided Tour

After meeting your private licensed guide, start with a tour of Venice's famous St. Mark's Square, at the very heart of the city and directly in front of the impressive Basilica of San Marco. Step inside the Basilica to admire its beautiful mosaics, as well as the famous Pala d'Oro altarpiece, decorated with 300 sapphires, 300 emeralds, 15 rubies, 1,300 pearls, and hundreds of other precious stones. Then stop by the nearby Campanile and Clock Tower before continuing on to the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), an impressive Gothic palace dating back to the 14th century which was transformed into a museum in 1923. From there, take a moment to admire the famous Bridge of Sighs, connecting the palace to the New Prison. During this private guided walk, you'll also see the beautiful spiral staircase of the Palazzo Contarini, along with plenty of the city's charming squares and wonderful views over the Grand Canal. Stop by the Fenice Theatre, the famous Venetian opera house which was destroyed twice by fire and reconstructed both times. The tour ends at the Rialto Bridge, another of the city's most famous landmarks and the perfect spot to take a picture of the iconic scenery.

Venice: 2-Hour Tour with Gondola Ride

7. Venice: 2-Hour Tour with Gondola Ride

Experience the majestic beauty of Venice by land and water on a combined walking tour and gondola ride. Discover the heart of the city from unusual points of view. First, take a stroll around some of the city’s fabled streets. Discover hidden gems and famous sites, such as the legendary Teatro La Fenice. Marvel at a hidden masterpiece of architecture at the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, a multi-arch spiral staircase on the outside of the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. Wander down some of the tiny “calle” (alleys) often missed by many tourists. Experience the hustle and bustle of everyday life around the Rialto Bridge, once the center of commercial life in the city. Go to some of the quieter sestiere (districts) before climbing aboard a gondola. Experience the city by its traditional mode of transport as you glide down canals that the larger boats can’t reach. See miraculous palaces and romantic bridges as you watch your gondolier, dressed in a distinctive blue and white striped shirt, punt along the hidden canals.

Venice: Hidden Venice 75-Minute Walking Tour

8. Venice: Hidden Venice 75-Minute Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided tour of Venice to experience a more authentic side of the extraordinary city. Follow an unusual itinerary to discover some of the city’s most beautiful sights not normally included on regular tours. Meander through the historical heart to see the exteriors of famous architectural masterpieces, such as La Fenice Opera House and the Rialto Bridge. Your experienced guide will provide valuable information and curious anecdotes from the city’s long history. Continue to Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo to discover a fine example of Gothic architecture in a city that often seems dominated by the Byzantine. See the original multi-arch, external staircase of the palace, chosen by Orson Welles as one of the main locations for his 1952 adaptation of Shakespeare's “Othello.”

Venice: Private Walking Tour with Optional Gondola Ride

9. Venice: Private Walking Tour with Optional Gondola Ride

Enjoy a relaxing 2-hour guided walk away from the main tourist sites and crowds. Make your way through the labyrinth of alleyways towards the famous opera house La Fenice which burned down and has now been rebuilt to its original glory, then a quiet walk towards Palazzo Fortuny once known as Palace of the Orpheans. See the ornate Bovolo spiral staircase (known as ‘of the snail’) tucked away in a tiny courtyard, then onto a view of the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal, Marco Polo’s house and much more. Take advantage of your expert guides and learn about the Venetian dialect. Hear the history of this enchanting city from your local guides. Discover the extraordinary architectural masterpieces and why they were built that way, learn how Venice lost out on the trade routes when the New World was discovered, leaving Venice medieval forever. Strolling along the narrow streets, “calle” to encounter hidden away treasures. Explore the particular difficulties Venice has to face. This tour will leave you knowing so much more about this not so practical but precious city. Upgrade your tour to include an optional relaxing 30-minute gondola ride from the gondola station of Santa Maria del Giglio next to the Gritti Palace Hotel.

Doge Palace: Skip-the-Line Tour with Gondola Ride

10. Doge Palace: Skip-the-Line Tour with Gondola Ride

Benefit from skip-the-line access to Doge’s Palace and explore one of Venice’s most iconic buildings on a guided tour. View its impressive artworks, admire magnificent interiors, and afterward explore the canals of the floating city on an unforgettable gondola ride. Travel back in time to the Middle Ages as you explore the seat of a 1,000-year republic. Marvel at the vast collection of masterpieces of art adorning the walls of the palace. See the rich details of the golden staircase at the waterside entrance to the palace. Learn the history of the dukes of Venice as you wander around the lavish halls and corridors at your own pace. Relive the anguish of the prisoners that crossed the Bridge of Sighs at the palace and experience the inside of the prison cell that once hosted Giacomo Casanova. After your visit, enjoy a complimentary admission ticket to the Correr Museum, the National Archeological Museum, and the Biblioteca Marciana on St. Mark's Square. Finish your experience with a charming gondola ride. Let the gondolier transport you along the canals and be fascinated by the hidden corners of Venice as seen from the water.

Other Sightseeing Options in Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

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What people are saying about Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 1,723 reviews

Our guide was lovely, with very good English, brilliant knowledge of local history and a friendly attitude. We had a wonderful time, learning about Venetian history, punctuated with 3 gruesome ghost stories. You see all the main tourist sites as well, but through a spookier lense. The group was big enough that we felt like a tour, but not so big that we got lost in it. I would definitely recommend!

What phenomenal experience. If you’re in Vencice I recommend this 100%. Perfect amount of history and ghost stories, I only wish we had done it the first night and not the second! Again, it was amazing, and she gives you so many idea of what to do in Venice the next day.

The whole process from purchasing the tickets through touring the monument was a breeze. no waiting in line on the day of the visit. just walkin and validate the ticket and in you go.

We had a wonderful tour away from the tourist crowds. Unfortunately too short! We would have walked that long again with dear Bea. Gladly again!

A lovely hidden gem in the centre of Venice - really worthwhile visiting.