The Palazzo Labia is a historical building in the sestiere Cannaregio in Venice. Its biggest attraction is a fresco cycle painted by Tiepolo in the ballroom. It is the present seat of the RAI, the Italian national television station.
Palazzo Labia Venetië
Address: Palazzo Labia, Cannaregio, Campo San Geremia, 275 (tel. +39 0415242812 or 0415240782). Vaporetto: Guglie (lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2). Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 15.00 till 16.00, by phone appointment (+39 041781277). Entrance fee: Unknown.
History and description
The Palazzo Labia was constructed between 1730 and 1740 for the Spanish family of that name. It is one of the biggest and most impressive buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal and was designed by Andrea Cominelli.
The Labia family was one of the few families being able to afford a building of this size in impoverished 18th century Venice.
The building has three facades. The only one not directly facing the canals was designed by Giorgio Massari.
The exterior of the building, especially considering Venetian standards, is relatively sober. Its interior, however, is lavishly decorated.
The central ballroom, also designed by Massari, is decorated with frescoes by Tiepolo. The cycle is considered to be one of the highlights of his work.
Unfortunately later owners did not take good care of the building. Both the palazzo itself and the frescoes lost a lot of their lustre. It is not until 164, when the building became property of the RAI that it was completely restored.
Palazzo Labia Highlights
The fresco cycle “Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra” was the fruit of a collaboration between tiepolo and Girolamo Mangozzi Colonna. Tiepolo used the trompe l’oeil technique for “The Feast during Which Cleopatra Melts a Pearl to Show the Wealth of Egypt”. The people present at the banquet seem to look down from the painted windows. The models for these viewers were the servants of the Labia family.