The Ca' Rezzonico ☆☆

The Grand Canal facade, Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy (Photo by Alice Barigelli)
The Grand Canal facade

This Grand Canal palazzo houses the Museo del '700 Veneziano, or Museum of 18th-Century Venice

This handsome 17th-century canalside palazzo, designed by Baldassare Longhena (who also did the Ca' Pesaro and Santa Maria della Salute church), reopened in 2001 after major renovations.

The Rezzonico offers an intriguing look into what living in a grand Venetian home was like in the last days of the grand Republic.

The ballroom alone, lavishly frescoed by Giovanni Battista Crosato and Pietro Visconti, will evoke the lifestyle of the idle Venetian rich.

It's a splendid backdrop for a collection of period paintings (especially works by Tiepolo, Guardi, and Longhi), furniture, tapestries, and artifacts—including an old-school private gondola.

The Museum of 18th-Century Venice

This museum is one of the best windows into the sometimes frivolous life of the Venice of 250 years ago, as seen through the tastes and fashions of the wealthy Rezzonico merchant family, who bought the place in 1751, a few years before family patriarch Carlo Rezzonico (1693–1769) was elevated to become Pope Clement XIII.

The Rezzonico line died out in 1810, but the palazzo had a bit of history left to make.

The great artist Whistler stayed here in 1879–80.

After Elizabeth Barrett Browning died, her son Pen bought the palace in 1888 and moved in with his grieving father, the English poet Robert Browning, who died here in 1889.

It's been open to the public as a museum since 1936.

Be on the lookout, toward the end of the museum, for a delightful series of paintings by Pietro Longhi depicting everyday Venetian life as it was in the 18th century.

These more than two-dozen amazing canvases (a sampling reproduced below) showcase daily life at every level. There are street vendors and pickpockets, washerwomen and merchant-princes, scent-sellers and fortune-tellers, musicians and professionals (which in the era meant alchemists and apothecaries).

The painting showcase every station of life, from poor tavern-goers living it up, wench-style, to be-wigged patricians partaking of their morning hot chocolate (which was all the rage for a while after the discovery of the New World).

 
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Photo gallery
  • The Grand Canal facade, Ca' Rezzonico, Italy (Photo by Alice Barigelli)
  • The Ballroom, or Salone da Ballo, Ca' Rezzonico, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • , Ca' Rezzonico, Italy (Photo by Marc Ryckaert)
  • The Longhi room, Ca' Rezzonico, Italy (Photo by Sailko)
  • The Grand Canal facade, Ca' Rezzonico, Italy (Photo by Didier Descouens)
Ca' Rezzonico tours
 
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Tips

Free or reduced admission with a sightseeing card

Get into Ca' Rezzonico for free (and skip the line at the ticket booth) with:

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How long does the Ca' Rezzonico take?

The museum takes only about 30–45 minutes to visit, maybe 90 minutes if you really get into it.

Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for sightseeing

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is?... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the museum il museo eel moo-ZAY-yo
...the church la chiesa lah key-YAY-zah
...the cathedral il duomo [or] la cattedrale eel DUO-mo [or] lah cah-the-DRAH-leh
     
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
Closed day giorno di riposo JOR-no dee ree-PO-zo
Weekdays (Mon-Sat) feriali fair-ee-YA-lee
Sunday & holidays festivi fe-STEE-vee
     
ticket biglietto beel-YET-toh
two adults due adulti DOO-way ah-DOOL-tee
one child un bambino oon bahm-BEE-no
one student uno studente OO-noh stu-DENT-ay
one senior un pensionato oon pen-see-yo-NAH-toh

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).