- "Seta is a fortress."
- ―Emilio Barbarigo to Carlo Grimaldi regarding his palazzo.[src]
The Palazzo della Seta was a major building in the San Polo District of Venice, Italy, and the residency of the merchant and nobleman Emilio Barbarigo until his assassination at the hands of Ezio Auditore da Firenze in 1481.
Its marble construction was completed in 1450, and is constructed on a small island separated from the rest of the district by a narrow canal. The palazzo remains a standout example of Venetian Gothic architecture: dark and imposing, yet light and airy at the same time.
The palazzo was guarded by Barbarigo-allied archers, who defended the structure and would shoot anyone who attempted to climb the high walls, an almost impossible task due to the widely spaced ledges and windows in the facade. However, after Emilio's death, the building fell under the control of the Venetian Thieves Guild as their new headquarters.
During the Italian Renaissance, the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze arrived in Venice with his friend Leonardo da Vinci in 1481. During a tour of the district given to them by Alvise da Vilandino, the three men witnessed city guards destroying a merchant's stand. Minutes later, the same merchant tried to complain to Emilio, who had ordered the destruction. However, the merchant was detained and taken into the palazzo.
Suspecting Emilio to be a Templar, Ezio tried to confront the noble, but found he could not scale the palazzo's walls. As he looked over the building, a group of thieves lured the guards away while another thief, Rosa, attempted to scale the walls. However, Rosa was spotted by an archer and shot through the leg, falling to the ground. Ezio then fought off guards and helped Rosa make her escape.
After restoring the Venetian Thieves Guild to its former strength, Ezio and the thieves, led by Antonio de Magianis, launched an attack on the palazzo. After eliminating the surrounding archers and replacing them with disguised thieves, Ezio used his newly-learned climb leap technique to scale the walls and infiltrate the palazzo's courtyard. After eavesdropping on a conversation between Emilio and the Venetian councilman Carlo Grimaldi, Ezio finally eliminated his target before the man could make his escape.
With the palazzo theirs, Antonio compensated Ezio for his help and told him of Carlo's identity, giving the Assassin his next steps to eliminate the Templar presence in the city. After the successful assault, Antonio and the thieves used the palazzo as their new base of operations. Ezio later returned to have Antonio assist him in trying to infiltrate the Palazzo Ducale di Venezia, and later yet in 1486 returned to discuss the ascendancy of Agostino Barbarigo to the position of Doge, along with the occupancy of L'Arsenale di Venezia by Silvio Barbarigo.