Palazzo Franchetti

Palace in San Marco

This 16th-century palazzo (mansion) passed through the hands of various Venetian families before Archduke Frederik of Austria snapped it up and set about modernising it. The Comte de Chambord (aka King Henry V of France in exile) continued the work, while the Franchetti family, who lived here after independence, restored its Gothic fairy-tale look and introduced a fantastical art nouveau staircase dripping with dragons. It's now used for art exhibitions, although the works have to compete with showstopping Murano chandeliers.