The Santa Fosca area in which it is situated underwent its greatest period of expansion during the first 20 years of the 1500’s and a faithful image of the gardens and low buildings present in the area at the time can be seen in the famous woodcut map of Venice by Jacopo de’ Barbari, the original blocks of which are to be found today in Venice’s Correr Museum in St. Mark’s Square.
The Vendramin family owned the entire area up to the Rio di Noale canal which skirts the Palazzo and, while it’s not certain where they originated, sources agree that they were merchants involved in the trade of oil, cheese and salted meat. However, their most successful venture – which would, over time, bring them fame and fortune, was in the production and sale of soap.
In 1381 the family was noted in the Libro d’Oro, a formal directory of the Venetian nobility, thanks to their generous contribution to the Venetian Republic during the Chioggia war, which would guarantee them access to important and prestigious public and government offices.
In 1476, Andrea Vendramin was elected as Doge, the Ruler of the Venetian Republic, but would die two years later having already held the post of Procurator of San Marco in 1467 and Commissioner for Venice under the ‘Lega’ that saw the Venetian Republic allied with the Republic of Florence and the Duke of Milan.