The building is the result of the seventeenth-century renovation (entrusted to Antonio Gaspari) of a Byzantine warehouse-house built around the thirteenth century.

The long portico on the ground floor, which runs along the entire façade that opens onto the Grand Canal, is made up of tall columns joined together by round arches with serliana; from those, derives the name of the building.

The first owners of the building were the Grimani and later, in the seventeenth century, the property passed to the Zen, patrons of the restoration that brought, in substance, new decorative elements such as the framed serlianas, the tympanums, the marble busts and the silhouettes of the balconies. After the Zen the owner of the building became Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga (Duke of Mantua) who took refuge in the lagoon city to escape the Austrian reprisals; in his escape, he brought with him a series of works of art including a canvas by Bellini and one by Giorgione. Subsequently, the palace passed to the Michiel family, one of the oldest in Venice and who offered 3 doges to Venice.

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