what I love of this place
70 years after Longhena’s death, Giorgio Massari created two new areas over the old ones, which added to the spectacular effect of his predecessor’s project: the staircase and a large ballroom. The latter monumental room, made by demolishing the ceiling and thus exploiting the whole height of the two main floors, was unrivalled in Venice as regards both its size and the quality of its painted decorations.
The staircase alongside the café leads to the Browning Mezzanine, which houses the Mestrovich Collection, including works by artists such as Jacopo Tintoretto and Bonifacio de’ Pitati. The visit to the museum collection begins at Giorgio Massari’s large ceremonial staircase on the side of the palace opposite to the Grand Canal. On the first floor, eleven rooms exhibit paintings, sculptures, frescoed ceilings, and collections of 18th century furnishings. The second floor opens with a long central hall typical of Venetian palaces in which there are two early works by Canaletto; the rooms dedicated to the work of Pietro Longhi and the Giandomenico Tieopolo frescoes originally on the walls of Villa Zianigo are not to be missed. The third floor contains not only the three rooms of the Ai Do San Marchi Pharmacy, but also the noteworthy collection of paintings bequeathed by Egidio Martini.