Palazzetto Bru Zane

The garden of the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice.
I love walled gardens and there is a little gem in the Campiello del Forner, which lies a stone's throw away from the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

The garden belongs to the Palazzetto Bru Zane, which was restored a few years ago and is now the Centre de Musique Francaise. The little palace was designed by Antonio Gaspari at the end of the 1690s for the Zane family, whose palazzo was situated next door. It was never designed as a place in which to live, but merely as a place in which to enjoy oneself. Some of the pleasures on offer were music, gambling and sex. 

Every Thursday afternoon it throws opens its doors to the public with an invitation to join a guided tour (free of charge and given in Italian, French and English). I pitched up this afternoon and joined the tour given in English (yes, I know I should have joined the one in Italian so as to improve my shamefully poor grasp of the language). 
The stairwell of the Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice with frescoes by Sebastiano Ricci and stuccoes by Abbondio Stazio.
The palazzetto is an absolute delight. The main room, which is still the venue for concerts, is decorated with frescoes by Sebastiano Ricci and stuccoes by Abbondio Stazio (the two were also responsible for the decoration of the grand staircase). The gallery (where the musicians once sat) boasts a beautiful wooden balustrade, which was thought to be the work of Andrea Brustolon. However, the guide was quick to point out that there was no evidence, whatsoever, for such a claim. 

Each year the Palazzetto Bru Zane runs a season of concerts of French Romantic music, for some a welcome alternative to the fare of Italian Baroque music which is usually on offer in Venice. 


Popular Posts