5 buildings to visit (only) during the Biennale in Venice

1) Palazzo Barbaro

Two palaces actually make up this complex: Palazzo Barbaro Curtis, which dates back to the 1400s, and its extension, Palazzo Barbaro. The Biennale has been using the ground floor in Palazzo Barbaro since 2015 for side exhibitions. It’s worth visiting just for the breathtaking view of the Canal Grande.

exterior of Palazzo Barbaro

Campiello Pisani 2840

+39 349 650 3892


2) Palazzo Bembo

Although the interior has been heavily remodelled, the façade of this beautiful palace, which overlooks the Canal Grande, remains quite faithful to the original Venetian Gothic style. Today the building is home to a hotel, but during the Biennale it also hosts side events.

exterior of Palazzo Bembo

Riva del Carbon 4793-4785

+39 346 760 3386


3) Villa Hériot

Villa Hériot is a bizarre neo-Byzantine building, which is mainly known for its large garden that overlooks the lagoon. It was commissioned by the French industrialist after which it’s named. After his death, the villa was handed over to the municipality of Venice. Nowadays it’s an exhibition space for Biennale exhibitions.

Venice - Villa Hériot

Calle Michelangelo 54/P

+39 041 520 1959

4) Palazzo Donà dalle Rose

The historic home of the Donà dalle Rose family was erected in the 17th centuryat the behest of Doge Leonardo Donàdalle Rose. It has two façades, both inthe late renaissance style, one facing the Rio dei Gesuiti, and the main one facing the island of Murano and the northern lagoon.

front side of Palazzo Donà dalle Rose

Fondamente Nove 5038

+39 380 154 1468

5) Church of Santa Croce degli Armeni

Finding this small church is not an easy undertaking. Its modest entrance is hidden in a sotoportego. Visiting it may be prove even more difficult however. Nonetheless, this small 12th-century building is an important testimony to the history of the Armenian community and the cosmopolitan and welcoming tradition of Venice.

 Santa Croce degli Armeni

Rio Terrà de le Colonne 1059

+39 041 526 0104

Shop online

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Venice reveals off-the-beaten track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Venice's best-kept secrets.

Buy the book

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up