Husband and wife team Francesca Rinaldo and Alessandro Gallo, owners of the Venice Venice and founders of clothing and footwear brand Golden Goose are homegrown residents of Venice and wanted this hotel to be an homage to their city and of course, to the building itself. Its history speaks of a crossroads of discovery from when the palazzo was a trading hub and knowledge-exchange, further compounded in the 17th-century Grand Tour when it became a hotel that housed the European wanderers, dreamers, artists and aristocrats that flocked to Venice in search of enlightenment.
A five-year restoration began, with a major rethink needed after the hotel had stood abandoned for decades. With particular attention to the bones of the building, restoration with sensitivity was needed to preserve the soul of the structure, including the Byzantine exterior, brass windows and doors and the original Venetian staircase that was in fact dissembled, restored and refitted exactly so.
Rinaldo and Gallo also wanted to create a design hub that would become the zenith of their ideas, a canvas for their own burgeoning art collections, interests and artistic connections within the city and further afield, continuing its legacy as a meeting for minds. Layered onto the heritage features is an eclectic and energetic take on art curation and interior design, showing the owners mettle when it comes to multifaceted mediums and the fusing of old and new with tapestries, paintings, photography and sculpture set against the tactile patina of age.
A standout must be a mirror frame created from 500-year-old clay sourced from the hotel’s foundations, set to a traditional Venetian style by a modern artist and a soberly lit sculpture by Fabio Viale entitled Piet Senza Cristo, which acts as an introduction to the hotel, sat on a smooth marble plinth against the original stairway, a masterful use of light, tradition and bold creativity.
Today the hotel seems at once classic and comfortable in its heritage fnesse, and at the same time rebelliously exciting, a daringly rethought palazzo which is anchored into the world of architecture, creativity. fashion and the art of travel. Rinaldo and Gallo have termed this new wave post-Venetian, a mantra that looks to the future of Venice, making it one of the most sought after, hot-ticket addresses for nomads of style on the modern-day Grand Tour
Main image credit: Alessandro Lana / The Venice Venice Hotel