History of Palazzo Cavagnis, which is listed as national monument and the Foresteria

History of the Palace and the Foresteria

The first known owners of the palace were part of the Morosini family, of noble Venetian origins.

In 1711, Antonio Francesco Cavagnis (or Cavanis), who belonged to a wealthy family of artists of Bergamo, former owner of an embroidery and golden lace shop in Venice (at Campo San Bartolomeo), purchased the palace that then belonged to Lucrezia Morosini in Savorgnan. Antonio Cavagnis then had the palace rebuilt to the project of architect Domenico Rossi. In 1810, Carlo Bevilacqua painted the ceiling of a salon on the first floor with the myth of Bacchus and Ariadne. Other rooms on the same storey had already been decorated and frescoed by Venetian artists during the 1700s. The palace, now known by the name of Cavagnis, was connected by a bridge to Calle Longa Santa Maria Formosa. During an air raid bombing of Venice during the night of 26 February 1918, a bomb demolished the nearby landing stage and damaged the fresco on the ceiling of the dining room.

The Waldensian Church purchased the palace in 1868, with the support and solidarity of foreign protestant churches. Palazzo Cavagnis is listed as an Italian national monument.

In 1925, Pastor Giovanni Bertinatti was the first to create a family boarding house on the first floor. The Foresteria was opened in its current form, still on the first floor, by Pastor Giovanni Scuderi in 1969.

During the 1990s, the Palace required extraordinary maintenance from the roof down to the ground floor. The Waldensian Board therefore launched a refurbishment and restoration plan of several years to augment the receptive capacity and therefore to be able to repay those investments through the years. This dream has demanded commitment from the brothers and sisters through the years and is being realised as each storey is brought up to standards and restoration is completed.

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