This magnificent palace, now the Museum of Eighteenth-Century Venice, was designed by the greatest Baroque architect of Venice, Baldassare Longhena for the aristocratic Bon family, and work began on it in 1649.
The staircase alongside the cafeteria leads up to the Browning Mezzanine, which now houses the Mestrovich Collection, including works by such artists as Jacopo Tintoretto and Bonifacio de’ Pitati. The visit to the Museum Collection proper begins at Giorgio Massari’s large ceremonial staircase on the side of the palace opposite the Grand Canal. On the first floor a total of eleven rooms contain paintings, sculptures, frescoed ceilings and collections of eighteenth-century furnishings. The second floor opens with the portego [the 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 an old pharmacy [Farmacia Ai do San Marchi] but also the noteworthy collection of paintings bequeathed by Egidio Martini.
The layout takes the visitor through the various rooms of the piano nobile, with an ample selection of clothing, garments and other accessories which are part of the permanent collection.