61. Palazzo dei Camerlenghi
The Palazzo dei Camerlenghi was one of the first buildings in Europe that was purpose built to be administrative offices. Originally housing the Venetian Treasury, the building still performs a similar function today as the 'seat of the accounting courts' (whatever they are).
Also, when it was built, this impressive example of early Renaissance architecture was originally the centre of one of the largest decorative efforts ever carried out in the city. Nearly two hundred pictures were commissioned for its interior from a virtual 'Who's Who' of Venetian painters, many of them very large works. When Napoleon conquered Venice in 1797, the collection was dispersed, some pieces destroyed, and some went 'astray', never to be seen again. The significance of this building to the development of Venetian painting has largely been unrecognized, but about 100 of the original works survived and many of those are now in the collection of the Accademia Museum, further down the Grand Canal.
Last, but by no means least, the carved capitals of the main entrance to the building are also famously vulgar (but unfortunately not visible in this picture – sorry about that). They depict a man with claws between his legs and a woman with flames emerging from between hers. These sculptures supposedly commemorate some remarks made in a tavern nearby during the more than seventy years long reconstruction of the Rialto Bridge after it burned down in 1514. The man is reputed to have said something thoughtful and eloquent like "that bridge won't be finished until my dick grows claws", to which the woman responded, "or until my pussy catches fire".
Who could blame the Government Works Department of the day for wanting to preserve these immortal observations for posterity?