Riva degli Schiavoni

The Riva degli Schiavoni is a monumental bank of the city of Venice.  It is located in the Castello district and extends along the San Marco basin in the stretch that goes from the Ponte della Paglia over the Rio di Palazzo, close to the Palazzo Ducale up to the Rio di Ca 'di Dio.
The shore takes its name from the merchants from Dalmatia (which at the time of the Republic of Venice was also called "Slavonia" or "Schiavonia") who landed here with their merchant ships to exhibit their trade stands.  The shore was in fact an integral part of the commercial port of Venice and was of great importance thanks to its proximity to Piazza San Marco and the center of Venetian political power.
The shore was probably started already in the ninth century and had a first expansion in 1060 with the drying up of a marshy area.  The shore was originally much narrower than the current one, being a little wider than the Ponte della Paglia, as can also be seen from the 1500's map by Jacopo de 'Barbari and countless paintings, prints and engravings.  The enlargement to the current size was approved only in 1780 and ended in 1782, that is in the last years of existence of the Republic of Venice.  In 1324 the shore was paved for the first time, using a terracotta pavement.

In 1172 on the shore, at the entrance to calle delle Rasse, Marco Cassolo stabbed to death the doge Vitale Michiel II who was on his way to the nearby church of San Zaccaria for the Easter celebrations.  Captured immediately, Cassolo was tried, convicted and executed and the Senate decided that his house, which was located on the shore right at the point of the attack, be razed to the ground and forbade its reconstruction in stone "in perpetuity", allowing only to be built  one-story wooden dwellings.  The route that the doge had to follow to reach the church of San Zaccaria was also modified: no longer along the Riva degli Schiavoni but internally through the Campo dei Santi Filippo and Giacomo.  The ban on stone construction was respected until 1948, when the wooden houses were demolished and replaced by the current modern wing of the Hotel Danieli.

During the Austrian domination, in 1851 the commissioner Bembo presented a project for the construction of a city bathing establishment in the San Marco basin.  The project, commissioned to the architects Fisola and Cadorin, involved the doubling in width of the Riva degli Schiavoni, with the construction of a second row of modern buildings facing the San Marco basin, as well as the doubling of the Paglia bridges, the  Rio di Vin, dei Greci and Ca 'di Dio. The project, highly controversial due to its very heavy impact, was then definitively rejected in 1854 by the provincial delegate.
Several buildings of particular historical or architectural importance overlook the shore.  Proceeding in the direction from the Palazzo Ducale towards the Arsenale, you will find in order:
the Ponte della Paglia, which marks the beginning of the Riva;  the Palazzo delle Prigioni Nuove, connected to the Doge's Palace via the Bridge of Sighs;  the modern Hotel Danieli Excelsior, at the entrance to calle delle Rasse;  the ex-Palazzo Dandolo currently home to the Hotel Danieli, one of the most luxurious in the city;  the bridge over the Rio del Vin;  the bronze equestrian monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, built in 1887 by the sculptor Ettore Ferrari;  the building where the writer Henry James lived during his stay in Venice;  the bridge over the Rio dei Greci;  the church of the Pietà to which the homonymous school belonged where Antonio Vivaldi composed and performed his music;  the bridge over the Rio della Pietà;  the ex-Palazzo Gabrielli, now home to the luxury hotel of the same name;  the Ponte della Ca 'di Dio, which marks the end of the actual shore.

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