Venice: Procuratie Vecchie

This factory surrounds the Piazza San Marco, on the side of the Clock Tower.
 There are no precise data on its time of foundation, nor is it known who was the first architect, whose name remains invaded to the glory of his evident merit.
 The very first idea came from the genius of Sebastiano Ziani, who began to put love on that site, buying the land from the nuns of San Zaccaria, and adorning the circuit of houses, with columns on the windows, in the shape of a runner, for which he turned from  all sides, and synchronous authors also narrate, that the recent mansions had the rooms pierced by arches and with loggias.
 Having then ordered the Senate that the procurators live on the square, it became necessary to build a factory there for their continued residence.
 Below, as we have from Gallicciolli's memoirs, precisely in 1365, Domenico Gaffaro, bishop of Cittanova, a rector of San Basso, made a contract with the procurators, for the exchange of the houses on the Piazza, owned by that Church, and they erected  the procuratie, through the payment to the said Gaffaro of L. 6465, ad grossos de imprestis.
 The architecture stands out in three orders, with a portico of fifty arches, and a double series of minor arches in the second and third, with one hundred and ten windows per row, and two channeled columns for each, adorned with Corinthian capitals, having the arches above  of them set.
 Each floor has recurrence of entablatures;  in the upper part the windows of the frieze are round, and the top is crowned in the form of battlements by a large series of acroteria and vases.
 Certainly the design must have been the concept of some splendid design;  the execution was carried out with fine foresight of views, and with mastery of art .;  the grandiose masses of trabeations, interposed with the supreme lightness and elegance of the arches, make, so to speak, a pleasant contrast to the eye, which effortlessly understands at first glance the relations between the parts.

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