The assaults, of the Dalmatian pirates, attracted by the growing wealth of the city, necessitated the building of strong castellated houses, of which no example has come down to our day, but we may gather what they were like from Petrarch's description of his house on the Riva degli Schiavoni, with its two flanking towers, probably retaining the primitive form, and also from the representations of protecting towers which occur in Carpaccio's pictures.
Instead of the present boat, with its heavy black cabin and absence of colouring, the older forms had an awning of rich stuffs or gold embroideries, supported on a light arched framework open at both ends; this is the gondola still seen in Carpaccio's and Gentile Bellini's pictures (c. 150o).
Altogether the gallery contains twenty rooms, one being assigned to the complete cycle of the "History of Saint Ursula," by Carpaccio; another to Giambellino and to the Celliniani; and a whole wall of a third being occupied by the famous Veronese, "11 Convito in casa di Levi."
Dishes include lobster carpaccio with olive oil and caviar, fragrant stuffed tomatoes or strawberries scented with hibiscus petals.
Try the smoked whale carpaccio with chive sauce and salad!