One of the oldest buildings on the island of Murano, located in an area that at the time was used as a holiday place for nobles and important people. With its 16th century appearance, today it is the seat of some municipal offices.
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Palazzo da Mula, with an exquisitely 16th century appearance, actually dates back to the 12th century and certainly underwent numerous alterations during its long existence.
The names of those who contributed to its construction are not known, but its convenient location along the widest canal of the island of Murano tempted many nobles to use it as holiday accommodation, such as Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, and noble families such as the Contarini, the Mocenigo, the Giustinian, the Trevisan, the Pesaro and the Cappello.
The first inhabitants of the house, as evidenced by a plaque on the outer wall depicting the family crest, appear to be the Diedo family - originally a dynasty of the Venetian mainland who gave the Serenissima captains of the sea, orators and counselors of San Marco - and are considered the likely supporters of the 16th century changes to the structure. However, considering the title given to the palace, it is easy to understand that the family most closely linked to this building was the Da Mula family, assumed from 1621, on the occasion of the marriage between Gerolamo Da Mula and Elena Diedo.
The Da Mula family, of Istrian origin, gave senators, warriors, men of culture and benefactors to the Serenissima Republic and lived in the palace at least until the beginning of the 18th century when Andrea Da Mula and the other members of the family moved to the mainland (probably to follow the fashion of the time), leaving the house for rent at the Fontanellas in 1712. The latter, first with Giacomo and then with Zuanne, resided in the palazzo until at least the middle of the 18th century, while the sons of Andrea, Gerolamo and Alvise Da Mula, wove relationships in the Venetian hinterland. The Fontanellas were one of the families inscribed in Murano’s Libro d’Oro (Golden Book) in the 18th century and carried out their work in the glassmaking sector. After the Fontanellas, the building was taken up in residence by seminarians who studied in the nearby patriarchal seminary.
It was only at the end of the 18th century that the factory became occupied by men from the glass industry once again: the Ferraris, who followed the profession with great success, managed to buy the whole building without concerning themselves with its restructuring, bringing it close to complete ruin. After the Ferraris it was the turn of the Barbinis who, in addition to living there, partially rented it to a company for the production of beads and equally partially rented to Domenico Bussolin from 1822.
For the remaining time, the place moved from hand to hand, between individuals or companies that operated in the field of Murano artistic glass, including Giacomo Cappelin, who seriously engaged in the restoration of the Palazzo, and between 1927 and 1928 when it was worked on by the then young Carlo Scarpa, the famous architect.
In the fifties of the 20th century the rumors of a possible move of the building to the municipal administration became more and more insistent, to then materialize. Today Palazzo Da Mula houses some offices of the Municipality of Venice, Murano and Burano with the council chamber, the registry office and other rooms that can be used for conferences, exhibitions and other cultural activities inside.