This spring Renata Lahalle will bring her joy of drawing to Venice where she will teach 5 fun and challenging art classes and where we will poke our noses down alleys over bridges and under archways in our search for the quirky and elegant. Without question we will find it.
Hidden down a less-travelled alley near Campo Manin stands the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo. It is a narrow 5-story building with ceiling heights that get lower the higher up the building. At the end of the alley is a tiny garden and the palazzo's remarkable external multi-arched spiral staircase known as the Scala del Bovolo meaning "the snail".
It's magnificent! Commissioned at the end of the 15th century, it has Renaissance capitals, Gothic construction and is Venetian-Byzantine for its shape. It has 80 steps interspersed with arches and balustrades. It stands 28 meters high and is topped by a semicircular dome with a lookout providing an impressive view of the city roof-tops.
It is said that the German astronomer Tempel, conducted his observations with his own telescope from the top of the Bovolo staircase, discovering comet C / 1859 and the Merope nebula. We also heard that the stairs were constructed so that the owner could ride his horse to the top so that he could reach his bed without ever touching foot on the floor.
Of course we will visit the scala and climb the stairs and take some pix and leave inspired by this quirky, elegant, breath-taking piece of Venetian history.
This is going to be an exciting week of workshops and exploring and making new friends in the ever enchanting city of Venice. For more info about this exciting vacation workshop taught by super talented and lovely, Renata Lahalle, click HERE.