A masterpiece of Gothic Architecture, the Doge's Palace is an accumulation of layer upon layer of construction and ornaments, including the original foundations (XIV and XV century structures) and remarkable details additions from the Renaissance and Mannerist. The structure is divided in three blocks that incorporate previous constructions.
The public entrance to the Doge's Palace is via the Porta del Frumento (Forage Gateway), so named because of its proximity to the “Ufficio delle Biade” (Fodder Office) which opens under the portico of the fourteenth-century facade overlooking the "Bacino San Marco". On the ground floor are located the public services offices and the Museo dell'Opera (Museum of the work done in the building); where the palace kitchens used to be, now is partly occupied by the Cafeteria and also by a space for temporary exhibitions.
The Museum offers the opportunity to discover the fascinating insight into the Art and History of Venice. The first section includes the Napoleonic Wing, a nineteenth-century palace for kings and emperors; here the luxurious neoclassical rooms house a noteworthy collection of works by the greatest sculptor of that time, Antonio Canova (1757-1822).
Then, one passes into the Procuratie Nuove, which were designed by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552-1616) and that once housed some of the most important civil authorities within the Republic of Venice. The spacious rooms now contain collections that document various aspects of Venetian History, from daily life to public institutions, from naval achievements to local festivities. Beyond these rooms begins the Art Collection exhibition, which continues on the second floor.
The library, by Jacopo Sansovino, was built and decorated to welcome the Greek and Latin codices donated to the Republic of Venice by Cardinal Bessarion in 1468. It contains precious manuscripts, like the Breviario Grimani from the fifth century and the World Map of Fra Mauro, and ancient editions including those of Aldus Manutius. On the first floor there is the Vestibule, on the ceiling of which stands the painting by Titian "La Sapienza", and on the vaulted ceiling of the library hall you can see twenty one portraits, the work of seven artists chosen by Titian and Sansovino themselves. The most famous are the three of Paolo Veronese and on the walls, portraits of philosophers, some of which are works by Tintoretto and Veronese.
The National Archaeological Museum of Venice, in "Piazza S. Marco", is home to an important collection of ancient sculptures including some major original Greek; there are also bronzes, ceramics, gems and coins, as well as the archaeological collection deposit form the Civic Correr Museum, which includes ancient Egyptian and Assyrian-Babylonian items.
By its own formation it has a gatherer character and includes a complete collection of works from the sixteenth-century collected by distinguished Venetian families.