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March 2018

"Venice Secrets" exhibition covers the darker side of Venetian history

  Venice Secrets banner

ABOVE: The history of Venice (like the history of humanity in general) isn't always pretty, and Venice Secrets will show you how the Venetian Republic "applied justice, in a severe manner with certain and sometimes cruel punishments."

From March 31 through May 1, 2018, a major exhibition titled Venice Secrets will allow locals and visitors "to get to know the cruellest and gory side of the Venetian Republic" over the centuries.

The official press release states:

"On 31 March 2018, Palazzo Zaguri opens the “Venice Secrets, Crime and Justice” exhibition to the public.

"An exhibition which recounts the history of Venice through torture, death penalty and inquisition themes, with unique items and suggestive reconstructions, debunking myths and false myths about one of the most long-lived historical realities within the European scenario.

"The display circuit, structured in four sections and 36 showcasing rooms (first section: Justice and torture; second section: Prisons and prisoners; third section: The capital executions rite; fourth section: Inquisition and Holy Office), offers the opportunity of viewing hundreds of torture instruments and over 60 original documents exhibited to the world for the first time, talking of a dark Venice and its dramas, such as the case of Doge Francesco Foscari, the tragic end of Carmagnola and Giacomo Casanova’s prison stint.

"Each showcase room features the narration of a story, but also of the secrets of the magistrate benches which made up the structure of the State. Ample space is dedicated to the Holy Office through several examples, from the clash between the Republic of Venice and the Holy See, to the figures of Giordano Bruno and Paolo Sarpi."

Admission prices are:

  • Adult €16€
  • Disabled persons, students, teachers, over 65, child 6-14, €12
  • Child under 6 or disabled person's assistant, free
  • Group €12 per person (minimum 10 people)

For more information, including directions and a map to the Palazzo Zaguri, see the Venice Secrets Crime & Justice Exhibition Web site at

BELOW: The Venice Secrets exhibition is in the Palazzo Zaguri on the Campo San Maurizio, within walking distance of the Piazza San Marco.


Images courtesy of Venice Secrets Crime & Justice Exhibition.