What to See in Venice: Palaces and Interesting Sights in Santa Croce Sestiere:
Santa Croce is probably the least attractive of all the Venice sestieri. The district includes the main port in the west and it is also home to the city’s bus station and giant car park in Piazzale Roma. However, the eastern section of Santa Croce is mostly medieval and here you’ll find many of Santa Croce attractions, including those along the Grand Canal.
Below are some palazzi and interesting sights to see in Santa Croce. The churches in Santa Croce are listed in the next page.
This typically Venetian Baroque marble palace on the Grand Canal was built by the noble and wealthy Pesaro family. Baldassarre Longhena designed Ca’ Pesaro in the second half of the 17th century (he also designed Ca’ Rezzonico), but he died before it was completed. It took 58 years before the work was finally finished by Antonio Gaspari in 1710. Ca’ Pesaro was bequeathed to the city and today it houses the Museum of Modern Art and contains major 19th and 20th century works. On the second floor is a collection of Oriental Art that once belonged to Enrico Bourbon-Parma.
Mocenigo Palace at San Stae
The Mocenigos were one of the oldest and greatest of Venetian families, producing seven doges. When Count Alvise Nicolo Mocenigo died in 1954 he bequeathed this palace to the city. It still contains old 17th century furnishings and now houses the Museo del Tessuto e del Costume (Museum of Textiles and Clothing).
Il Fondaco dei Turchi
Just around the curve of the Grand Canal from Ca’ Pesaro is the beautiful structure of Il Fondaco dei Turchi. In the 13th century this was the largest palazzo on the Grand Canal.
Palazzo Corner della Regina
Palazzo Corner was built in the 18th century for the Corner family of San Cassiano. Designed by Domenico Rossi, it was built on the ruins of an old palazzo in which Caterina Corner was born in 1454. She became Queen of Cyprus through marriage and the palazzo thus became known as ‘della Regina‘. Today, it houses the Historical Archives of the Biennale, but it seems that Prada wants to sponsor its restoration, and no doubt place its branding on it, just as TOD’S has acquired rights to the Colosseum.
The park was designed by Francesco Bagnara, a painter and designer of the Fenice, as well as professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. It was designed in the likeness of English gardens but have been completely altered and reduced in size. The gardens are now open to the public.