This “Fontego”, home of the Museum of Natural History, is one of the most characteristic buildings overlooking the Grand Canal, easily recognizable by the two side towers and crowning battlements. It was built by the Pesaro family in the first half of the thirteenth century and later purchased by the Republic of Venice. Over the years it was used alternately as a representative palace to house foreign princes as well as used by various noble families. An important chapter in its history began in 1621, when the Palace was used as a dwelling and business place by Turkish merchants, who were importing in Venice especially wax, oil, raw wool, leather and tobacco. Starting in 1860 it was totally rebuilt, architecturally inspired to the double loggia framework of the Venetian-Byzantine style drawn from the sixteenth century plants of Jacopo de 'Barbari.