I am sitting in my palace watching the tiny gondolas on the Grand Canal, dancing with grace in the rhythm of an old venetian song. My king promised me a hotel with canal view and after a long search we are here in the most exclusivist place of Venice, Pallazzeto Pisani.
The palace history starts in the 16th century when one member of the Pissani family, well known for his wealth and political influence, build the massive construction, just few steps away from the Grand Canal with a quick access to the famous San Marco square, eighter by water taxi or simply enjoying a 10 min walk through the beautiful venetian streets.
Princess for an weekend
We arrived in Venice on a sunny day of July, planning to spend the whole weekend in the most romantic place on Earth, surronded by Baroque buildings, serene waters and hundred pigeons.
Hiring a water taxi, we are sailing with full speed between the tiny arms of the Grand canal towards the hotel. The drawbridge is lowered for our arrival and we are greet at Pallazzeto Pisani by two vallets who are helping us to disembark safe on the tiny wooden bar.
We have the advantage of visting Venice during the summer when the water level is low, the sea increasing considerable with the cold season leaving behind wet marks on the building facades. The nature doesnt forgive even the most attractive buildings and while the locals are fighting with “aqua alta” (more than 9 cm high), the tourists find this experience interesting and unique.
Being a little bit early, we are invited to enjoy some welcome drinks on the roof top restaurant while the Pisani suite is prepared for our comfort.
The whole design of the palace is inspired by the classic venetian style:marble floors and Murano chandeliers hanged on the wooden ceilings, impeccable preserved over the time together with priceless art works, original frescoes and paintings which illustrate the royal personalities of an old Venice.
The refinement of the place is completed by the stunning view over the Grand Canal and it is hard to decide eighter to sit inside or enjoy the sunset from the terrace.
A well maintained piano is decorating one of the sitting area of the restaurant. Abdulla cant resist the temptation and start singing few notes, surprising me with his hidden talent.
A middle aged italian lady is trying to accomodate us the best way possible even if english doesnt seem at all familliar to her. Delighted with the famous Campari Spritz and delicious green olives we can finally relax after a long day, in a charming atmosphere.
Our suite follows the same royal architecture as the entire palace, with beautiful large windows, old style furniture and a central fireplace which add a note of romantism to the already perfect scenario.
Venice has to wait for a while, we are not going to leave this amazing room before having a well deserved afternoon nap. Wrapped in silky golden sheets and accompanied by the sound of the waves hitting the outside walls I am falling in a deep, unreal sleep.
Lost in Venice
Waking up hungry we decide to try our luck finding an open restaurant for a late dinner. Abdulla is playing the guide role on the narrow streets behind the hotel until we reach San Marco square and I dont have any doubt that he will find the way back.
Just as expected most of the places are closed and the romantic couples which are holding their hands during the day are replaced by tipsy teenagers holding some bottles of beer and leaving tones of garbage behind.
Venice is totally changed since last time when I was here, the magic of the past faded, losing the unfair competition with the contemporany tourism.
Confused by the streets with similar appearance and the numerous bridges over the water, we are wandering in circle for few hours until we accept the fact that we are lost. Alone in the dark with no clue about our hotel location, the beautiful Venice became a scary labyrinth with crooked streets blocked at the end by tiny canals. Losing my hope that we will spend the rest of the night in our comfortable bed, I am sitting on the pavement watching the only sign of civilization, a group of Chinese which look even more confused than us, while Abdulla try restless to find an internet conection.
Finally with the right direction on the phone we reach the hotel in less than 10 minutes and now being under the protection of our palace we can laugh about this funny adventure.
Fancy glassware in Murano’s factories
Next day in the morning the hotel arrange us a quick visit to one of the Murano’s factory, an workshop specialized in fancy glassware.
For centuries, Venice was the most important producer of the glasswear industry and seeling the professional secret was punished by death. Today the artists are still using the old technique learned from the ancestors but adding new contemporary elements and fancy colors. The death penalty doesnt apply for them anymore but a new threat is hunting their creations, the copyright, reason for which photography is strictly prohibited in the art gallery.
A novice artist gives us a short demonstration of art, transforming the soft glass in a cute horse within less than 3 minutes. After the shape is completed the delicate “cavallino” has to cool down in a special location for exactly 24 hours, a minute less or extra might irretrievably deteriorate its texture. The color is not defined yet, the artist can just imagine the final shade depending on the mix of elements that he added to his creation.
Venice by gondola
Being in Venice we dont want to miss the inedit experience of a romantic Gondola ride. Supremely overpriced (120 euro for 40 min) the tiny black device takes us in a short tour of Venice starting from San Marko square going through the fascinating Casanova house and the Doge Palace. The legend says that the famous seducer is the only one who escaped from the Piombi prison after an elaborated plan, enjoying a cup of coffee in San Marco square before fleeing by sea on a gondola.
Another legend advice couple to kiss under each and every bridge if they want to be together for life, thing which seems almost impossible given the fact that Venice has not less than 417 bridges spread all over the Canal.
Following in the Giacomo Casanova footsteps we disembark in Piazza San Marko, trying to find a quiet restaurant, away from the agitation of the city.
Million tourists of all ages and nationalities are gathering on tiny bridges and colorful streets and the floating city seems to drow anytime soon under their weight. Unfortunately not far from being true, Venice is sinking 1-2 millimeters every year and the old city builded on wooden pillars might be just a memory in the next 20 years.
Strategical positioned in the crowded square, the seagulls are waiting any moment of distraction which will bring them a free snack. Thieves by nature, they are grabing sandwiches and ice cream from the tourists hands, just in front of our eyes.
Less fortunate, the pigeons are using their cuteness to win some left over crumbs, feeding them being totally forbidden.
Piano, champagne and roses
Attracted by the sound of a professional orchestra we found the perfect location to end our last night in Venice. While we celebrate with champagne and roses another happy day spent together, other couples are gathering outside of the terrace, waving their bodies in the rhythm dictated by the violin.
Ignoring the street vendors and careless tourists, Venice remain the city of sublime, pure love where even the most realistic person can be stung by one of Cupid intoxicating arrows.