The façade is hinged between two turrets and has a porticoed ground floor for access to the water, one of the largest in Venice and second only to that of Palazzo Ducale; this characteristic and common feature of the warehouses (Fontego in Venetian) performed the important function not only of warehouse but also of loading and unloading of goods.

The palace was built on the initiative of the merchant Giacomo Palmieri, a rich merchant founder of what was to be the Pesaro family.

The prestige of the residence reached the point that the Venetian Signoria in 1300 even offered ten thousand gold ducats for the purchase of the property to donate it to the Marquis of Ferrara Nicolò d'Este as recognition for the loyalty he showed to the Serenissima in the war of Chioggia.

The changing political relations meant that the concession of the building was first revoked to the Este family in 1509 and then again granted to the people of Ferrara in 1527.

Antonio Priuli bought the building in 1618, the same year he became Doge. In those years, the possible concession of a seat to Turkish merchants was under discussion - along the lines of the one already in force for the Germans - a project that finally materialized three years later, with the conversion of the rooms into accommodation, services and warehouses. A collapse damaged the structure in 1732, during the same period trade with the East was now in decline.

After a series of changes of ownership it was definitively purchased by the Municipality of Venice in 1860; the restoration was entrusted to Federico Berchet who tried, with unsatisfactory results, to imitate what the building represented before the collapse and set up the seat of the Correr Museum.

Since 1923 it has housed the Natural History Museum.

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