Scala Contarini del Bovolo is the most famous staircase in Venice and translates to “Staircase of the Snail” in reference to it’s spiral shape. The palazzo is hidden away in a quiet courtyard just a few steps from Campo Manin in the San Marco district. It was used as a film set in Orson Welles’ production of “Othello” and is another must-see item for any Venice checklist.
External staircases were a common feature of 16th century Venetian houses to save space inside the building. The sight of the scala from the ground is pretty spectacular, but climbing the 80 steps to the top will literally take your breath away. If you can beat the crowd (or wait them out), you can get some amazing photographs. If you need to kill time while you wait your turn, there’s a small museum inside the palazzo explore. Tickets to access the staircase and museum are only 7€ per person.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo