Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, also known as Palazzo Fortuny, is a magnificent palace in Venice that is a must-visit for art and history enthusiasts.

With its rich history and impressive collection of artworks, it is a true gem of the city.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why you should visit Palazzo Pesaro Orfei, its history, what you can see inside, how to get there, and the price of the ticket.

Why you should visit the splendid Palazzo Fortuny

palazzo fortuny venice
Photo by Dimitris Kamaras, via Flickr

There are many reasons to visit Palazzo Fortuny.

The palace is in fact an excellent example of Venetian Gothic architecture, with its intricate façade and stunning interior.

It is said to be the greatest example of Gothic palazzo that does not face the Grand Canal!

Additionally, the building is also home to the Fortuny Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artworks, textiles, silk and velvet fabrics that offer a unique insight into the history and culture of Venice.

What was once a small atelier dedicated to textiles, over time has transformed into a cultural center entirely dedicated to the visual arts: painting, sculpture, lighting, photography, and clothing.

It's indeed an unmissable stop during your tour of the city!

The History of Palazzo Fortuny

fortuny palace - a gothic palazzo
Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr

Palazzo Pesaro Orfei was originally built in the 15th century for the Pesaro family, a wealthy Venetian family.

Over the centuries, the palace changed hands several times and during the 19th century it belonged to many artisans who used the palace as their studio.

In the last years of the century, the palace was acquired by the Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo. Fortuny was a talented artist and designer who transformed the palace into his studio and home.

The artist died in 1949, and some years later the palace was given to the municipality of Venice. The city, however, took possession only in 1965, after the death of Henriette Negrin, the woman Fortuny fell in love with in 1897.

Today, the palace is owned by the city of Venice and has been open to the public as the Fortuny Museum since 1975.

The museum is a tribute to Fortuny's life and work, showcasing his paintings, designs, and textiles, as well as other items from his personal collection.

The life of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo

mariano fortuny y mandrazo
Photo by Kotomi_ via Flickr

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo was born in Andalusia in 1871 and was the son of parents devoted to the arts. He was orphaned at a very young age, and therefore moved to Paris with his mother, where he was introduced to the world of painting.

In 1998 he arrived in Venice where he established his workshop inside the Palazzo Pesaro Orfei.

He soon began to take an interest in music, set design and lighting design as well.

He died in 1949 and is buried at the Verano, Rome, next to his illustrious father Mariano Fortuny Marsal.

What to See Inside: the beautiful house museum

palazzo fortuny what to see - first floor second floor entire floors - two entire floors
Photo by Kotomi_ via Flickr

Inside Palazzo Pesaro Orfei, visitors can explore the various rooms and galleries that make up the Fortuny Museum. Beautiful lamps, antiques, paintings, fabrics and beautiful dresses are collected here.

One of the highlights of the museum is Fortuny's studio, which has been preserved exactly as it was when he worked there.

The palace's interior is also a sight to behold, with its intricate carvings, frescoes, and decorative elements. Visitors can wander through the various rooms and admire the palace's Gothic architecture and ornate furnishings.

The Hall and the Winter Garden

The hall on the ground floor is one of the most beautiful you will visit in the city and takes guests to a smaller room, called the Winter Garden (Giardino d'Inverno), where a variety of art and antiques are displayed.

Among the most valuable objects is the funeral robe made by Fortuny for the funeral of Duke Fernando Fernández de Córdoba y Pérez de Barradas.

The Studio

Fortuny's studio was located in the attic. It is a corner room lit by three beautiful Gothic windows. Three paintings by Fortuny are located here, one of which is a self-portrait of him.

Entering here is like ideally looking into the artist's mind and genius, as if one could observe him as he stands absorbed in front of his palette.

How to Get to Museo Fortuny

Palazzo Pesaro Orfei is located in the San Marco district of Venice, just a short walk from the famous Piazza San Marco.

The access to the museum is in Campo San Beneto. Visitors can reach the palace by foot or by water taxi. The nearest vaporetto stop is Sant'Angelo, reachable by Line 1, or San Samuele, reachable by Line 2.

Opening hours and Tickets

The museum is usually closed on Tuesdays.

It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM till March 31st;

From April 1st, it is open from 10 AM to 6 PM.

The price of the ticket to Palazzo Pesaro Orfei varies depending on the exhibitions and events taking place at the time of your visit.

Generally, tickets cost around €10 for adults and €7 for students and seniors. However, some exhibitions may have additional fees, so it's best to check the official website for up-to-date information.

In conclusion, Palazzo Pesaro Orfei is a magnificent palace that offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Venice.

With its stunning architecture, impressive collections, and rich history, it is definitely a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Venice!

The cover photo is a picture by Stefano Remo, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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