The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is an impressive neo-Gothic building at the foot of the Accademia bridge and extends towards Campo Santo Stefano. It was built in 1565, and until the mid-19th century it was diveded and shared as a residence by different branches of illustrious Venetian families: the Marcello, the Gussoni and the Cavalli.
In the 1840s Archduke Frederick of Austria reunited the property and began a complex modernisation project intended to give the building the modernity that distinguishes it. In 1847 it was bought by Count Chambord for the French legitimist Henry V, who engaged Giambattista Meduna to carry out its restoration. In 1878 Baron Raimondo Franchetti bought the palazzo, which remained in his family until September 1922 when it was sold to the Istituto Federale di Credito per il Risorgimento delle Venezie by his widow, Sarah Luisa de Rothschild. The name of the architect Camillo Boito, who carried out major alterations and designed the monumental staircase, is linked to this period.
Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti is used by the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti to hold cultural events. In 1999, this institution founded a company, VIC (Venice Cultural Initiatives), to promote, organise and administer cultural activities at Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti and Palazzo Loredan (the Istituto’s premises for more than a century).