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Pursuits
Real Estate

Venice Is Full of Secret Palazzos for Sale

The listings are so extravagant, no one knows they exist.

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Photographer: Colin Dutton

The rear of a midsize palazzo on Venice’s Grand Canal doesn’t look like much—a wrought-iron gate, a stucco wall, a few windows with black shutters. Step inside, though, and visitors will find themselves on the vast ground floor of one of the choicest palaces in the city. Spread across nearly 30,000 square feet, the 16th century mansion contains original frescoes, ancient silk wall coverings, and some of the finest plaster work in Venice. 

“It’s all just gorgeous,” said Ann-Marie Doyle, director of Venice Sotheby’s International Realty, as she entered a ballroom dominated by a colossal Murano glass chandelier. “I could spend my life in this room.”