2021: the City of Venice turns 1600 years old

An important anniversary that Cà Bonfadini celebrates
by hosting an exhibition inside its structure,
to reveal the history within the history.

Cà Bonfadini facade
Bonfadini family genealogical tree
Detail of the floor mosaic, with the eagle and the peach blossoms
Details of a fresco in the restaurant lounge.
Frescoes in the suite no. 7
Fresco in the Sala d'Ercole: Hercules knocks down the Lernaean Hydra
Imperial Hall, detail of a fresco
Detail of the stuccoes
Four Seasons living room, details of the frescoes

421 A.D. is the official year of the foundation of Venice.

Since then 1600 years have passed; sixteen centuries in which the splendid lagoon city has been loved, described, painted and dreamed of by millions of people.


To celebrate the recurrence Cà Bonfadini, historical residence on Cannaregio shore, hosts in its structure an exhibition that traces the history of the palace and of the two families that have defined its personality; a history that inevitably intertwines with that of the city.


It seems that the palace is the result of the fusion of two pre-existing gothic buildings, but the available documents allow to reconstruct with certainty the history of the residence only starting from the XVII century, when the Bonfadini family, rich merchants who in 1642 obtained the noble title thanks to conspicuous donations, bought the building.


From that period Cà Bonfadini preserves the magnificent mosaic with eagle and peach blossoms, symbol of immortality, to represent how immortal the Bonfadini family is and will be.


When at the end of the eighteenth century the Republic of Venice fell, the Bonfadini family retired to the mainland and sold the palace, which was divided into apartments.


It was not until 1815 that one of the families who lived there, the Vivante family, bought the entire building and brought it back to its former glory.



Most of the decorations that today embellish the palace date back to this period.


The Vivante family, in order to celebrate their success in business, had several rooms decorated by important artists of the time.


On the second floor is particularly important the Sala d’Ercole, where a cycle of frescoes represents the labors of Hercules: through ancient mythology are expressed the new values of the ruling class that did not have patrician origins. In this case, Hercules embodies the Vivante family, which, through the sense of duty, law and sacrifice of honest men, determines its own fortune and privileges.


The Imperial Hall is also decorated with the same intent: here the Vivante family wants to emphasize its greatness by representing the splendor of the Roman Empire.



In addition to the frescoes, Cà Bonfadini preserves splendid stuccoes created by some of the greatest artists of the time: Giuseppe Borsato, who also played an important role in the decoration of the Gran Teatro alla Fenice in 1808, and Giuseppe Castelli.


Delicate weavings of flowers and leaves frame frescoes and discreetly dress even the most basic walls.



Today the building, restored to its former glory, houses 20 suites.


The careful restoration of the structure, which lasted 2 years, was carried out in accordance with the indications of the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the City of Venice, to enhance the artistic value of the house and return to the city one of the many jewels that contribute to its uniqueness.

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