Palazzo Querini Stampalia is one of Venice’s few noble palaces open to the public. Here you can tour the 18th-century ducal apartments as well as view the extensive collection of fine art—including works by Giovanni Bellini, Pietro Longhi, and Tiepolo—at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia (Querini Stampalia Foundation).
La Fondazione Querini Stampalia was created by Count Giovanni—the last of the Venetian Querini Stampalia family—as a cultural center; today it houses a library and art collection, the original apartments, and exhibition areas for concerts and events. Architect Carlo Scarpa reworked the ground floor and garden in the 1960s, and Mario Botta completed a later renovation and expansion were completed in the 1990s. But the palazzo dates from the 16th century and the ornate stuccos, Meissen porcelain, and fine tapestries of the original noble apartments remain.
A stop at the Querini Stampalia Foundation is a highlight of any Venice walking tour that combines quieter, lesser-known sights with skip-the-line tickets to A-list attractions like St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The foundation’s 700-year-old library, considered the most beautiful in Venice, is open to the public.
- The foundation often holds contemporary art exhibits in the Carlo Scarpa Area during Venice’s Biennale.
- The complex’s ground floor houses a bookstore and café.
- The palazzo is accessible to wheelchair users via a secondary entrance with a bell to alert staff.
How to Get There
Entrance to Querini Stampalia Palace is on Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Castello 5252, a short walk from Piazza San Marco and the Rialto or San Zaccaria vaporetto (water bus) stops.
When to Get There
Venice is one of the most visited cities in Italy, so less famous sights like the Querini Stampalia Foundation are a welcome respite from the summer crowds. The foundation holds regular events, so check their program calendar to experience a workshop, classical concert, or temporary art exhibition.
The Querini Stampalia Library
The Querini Stampalia Foundation’s library has a collection of over 350,000 historical and modern pieces, with a reading room of about 32,000 books, more than 350 magazines and journals, and 20 local, national, and international newspapers. Count Giovanni wanted the citizens of Venice to have access to culture, so he stipulated that the library be open on Sunday, on holidays, and late into the evening. The library is free for visitors aged 16 and up.