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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.

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