Venice always offers us incredible sights to remember for life; among these, a perfect spot to enjoy a wonderful view of the waters of the lagoon is located in the center of the San Marco Basin and is Punta della Dogana!

Punta della Dogana da Mar over the centuries

The Dogana da Mar – moved to the tip of the Dorsoduro district in the 15th century following the increase in maritime trade – was the beating heart of the business of the Venetian merchants.
Ten years before the consecration of the Basilica of
Health occurred in 1687, it was decided to begin architectural work also at the Customs building.
The project was entrusted to the architect Giuseppe Benoni while the sculpture that adorns the tower was commissioned to Bernardo Falcone.
The work is composed of two Atlases holding a sphere of gilded bronze on which the figure of Fortune rises, which rotates depending on the direction of the wind; not only a way of keeping track of the wind, but also a sort of reminder that good luck is never stable.

From the centre of trade to the heart of culture

After the fall of the Republic of Venice, the customs activity at Punta della Dogana continued until the 8th decade of the Nineteenth century. After a period of neglect, the complex was redeveloped for the creation of a contemporary art centre. Thus the François Pinault Foundation entrusted the project to the Japanese architect Tadao Ando to reconvert the spaces once used as warehouses for goods into an exhibition  venuededicated to hosting temporary exhibitions.

We could consider it a symbolic point for the city which, renewed over time, brings together the two souls of Venice – its ancient vocation for maritime trade, the basis of its many fortunes, and the attention to architecture, art and culture.

To discover Venice and its wonders, keep reading our articles on the Venice Box blog.