Tickets for Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Climb one of the finest spiral staircases of the Renaissance

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Opening hours
Scala Contarini del Bovolo: 30 minutes
  • Climb one of Venice's little-known gems, the expansive spiral staircase that Orson Welles used in his version of Othello
  • Explore a fascinating blend of Renaissance, Gothic and Venetian-Byzantine architecture
  • Opt to see Oratorio dei Crociferi and its glowing paintings by Palma il Giovane, all in a small but beautiful prayer hall

The commanding spiral staircase of the Scala Contarini del Bovolo is the stuff of story books (and mathematical theories, no doubt!). It's a real Venetian gem and a classic combination of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, known for being used prominently by Orson Welles in his version of Othello.

The Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo is a tiny, pretty palazzo that's often blessed with hot Venetian sunbeams. Despite its small size, it's famed all over Italy for its external, multi-arch spiral staircase: the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, which is Venetian for the shell of the snail.

You'll soon see why. Standing at the top, looking down, the intricate design of spiralling stairs looks just like a snail's shell - a very posh snail's shell. Each step is broad and expansive, and the overall effect is definitely majestic.

The palazzo was built in the 15th century by the architect Giovanni Candi, but the spiral staircase was added later in 1499. This gastropod-like beauty is an elegant testament to Venice's unique history and architecture. It's also the tallest spiral staircase in Venice!

Opt for the combo ticket and pay a visit to Oratorio dei Crociferi, just a short walk away. This small Roman Catholic prayer hall is filled with a stunning cycle of paintings by Palma il Giovane. Witnessing the glowing red and gold robes worn by the dignitaries and notables in these paintings is a must for art lovers.

Ticket features
Instant ticket delivery
Smartphone tickets accepted
What's included
Admission to the staircase Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Admission to the Tintoretto Room
Admission to the Oratorio dei Crociferi (if selected)
Guided tour
  • Show your smartphone ticket at the entrance. You will receive a timeslot for the next available entry!
  • Combo ticket: You can visit the Oratorio dei Crociferi on the same day, after the Scala Contarini del Bovolo, or on one of the following days. Please note that it's only open Thursday-Sunday!
  • Address Oratorio dei Crociferi: Campo dei Gesuiti 4905, 30121 Venice
Changing or cancelling your ticket
  • Cancellations are not possible for this ticket
  • Changes are not possible for this ticket
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
San Marco 4303, 30124, Venice
Ratings & reviews
3 Reviews

Oct 19, 2019
Wonderful view of the yards and the roofs of the city. I was impressed of the Tintoretto room. Such interesting installations which give material for philosophical evaluation of the connections between nature and things.
Dec 30, 2019
Tra le bellissime, contorte vie di Venezia, in un piccolo vicolo emerge Scala Contarini del Bovolo. Bellissima da ammirare dal basso e bella per il panorama in terrazza. Consigliata la visita.
Sep 16, 2019

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