April 25, 2016

The Old Customs House of Venice

In Venice there’s a triangular area of land where the Grand Canal converges with the Giudecca Canal. Sitting on this point, the Punta della Dogana, is the Old Customs House where merchant ships once stopped for inspection and to pay taxes on their cargo before proceeding down the Grand Canal.

The Old Customs House, Dogana di Mare,
on Punta della Dogana

On top of the Customs House are two Atlases supporting a bronze globe and a weather vane in the form of Fortuna, the goddess of fortune. Today the building houses a gallery of contemporary art, also called the Punta della Dogana.

Old Customs House at Dusk
(from the Grand Canal)

Bronze Globe and Weather Vane

We walked to the tip of the point along Fondamenta delle Zattere, the waterfront promenade on the Giudecca Canal. From here we could see St. Mark’s Bell Tower and the Doge’s Palace across the busy waters of St. Mark’s Basin. Another bell tower on the nearby island of San Giorgio Maggiore is a great place for panoramic views of the Venetian lagoon.

Fondamenta delle Zattere

The Tip of Punta della Dogana

St. Mark's Bell Tower and Doge's Palace

San Giorgio Maggiore

The large dome behind the Customs House belongs to the church of Santa Maria della Salute, one of Venice’s plague churches.

Santa Maria della Salute

A typical Adriatic cargo vessel, Il Nuovo Trionfo, was moored at Punta della Dogana. It’s the only remaining seaworthy trabaccolo in Venice.

Il Nuovo Trionfo

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