The Pisani family appeared on the Venetian scene during the 14th century and soon became well known for their wealth.
They had immense properties in Venice and on the mainland, due to their commercial activities. Towards the end of the 16th century, Alvise Pisani, who belonged to the branch called "Pisani del Banco" (because they founded and owned one of the most important banks of Venice), left his home at Santa Maria del Giglio and built the enormous palace next to Campo Santo Stefano that became his home and that of his heirs; since then they became known as "Pisani di Santo Stefano".
It was and is a splendid palace but it didn’t have a facade on the Grand Canal. So the Pisani bought the smaller and older palace belonging to the Marquis Poleni and, in 1751, they joined it to their own house so that it became a wing of Palazzo Pisani projected onto the Grand Canal. From then onwards it wascalled "Palazzetto Pisani" to distinguish it from the immense one behind it. When the two buildings were joined, considerable alterations were made to the Palazzetto, so that the structure and decorations that we see today belong to the 18th century, and we have only a few reminders of the original Poleni house, the most important of which is the facade.
At the end of the second world war, the Palazzetto was reoccupied by the last descendants of the Pisani and it is till their home today.