Campana Suites (VI)
The mansion where the legendary Marostica Human Chess Game was born, second home to the protagonists of the ’60s Venetian Dolce Vita – from Fred Buscaglione to the Kessler twins – has just been transformed into a luxury guest house by Jacopo Jay Cartoccio, creative entrepreneur & art director.
The building, which overlooks the beautiful Piazza degli Scacchi, has always belonged to his family: built in Art Nouveau style by his great-grandfather Pino at the end of 19th-century, it has become the home of his son Franco, one of the first visionary entrepreneurs of this corner of Italy, very popular for its charismatic character that will soon bring him close to the show business industry. It is right here, in his kitchen (today the Aida Room), that in 1954, during an evening spent with his friend Mario Mirko Vucetich, Franco came up with the idea of turning “human” a chess game. With the support of the Council and the historical echo of an ancient legend, the same year took place in Marostica the first Human Chess Game. Today, it has become one of the most famous shows in the world, with over 550 figurants, and it is held every two years (so this year do not miss it on September 7-9!).
The brand identity of Campana Suites, as well as many details of the furnishings, is a tribute to the famous chess game and, above all, to Franco Campana. A bond, that of Jay with his grandfather and his family that “called” him to give a new life to the building (that had been closed for over 20 years), highlighting, thanks to extensive restoration works, all the original features of the house: the iron gate, the stairs, the wooden floors, even many furniture and objects, such as the vintage Maltarello piano at the entrance.
With a mix & match attitude, playing with ancient and modern, sacred and profane, Jay’s eclectic, international style emerges clearly since from the entrance of the building where, climbing the stairs, you are faced with a high-tech armored door that makes really smart to enter and exit the house. Once inside, the interiors are a mix of original decorations from the end of the 19th century, oriental antique furniture, and unique pieces from the ’30s and the ’80s, the years that most inspire Jay’s creative works. If his stylistic research included visiting flea markets and online contemporary art auctions, his signature definitely lays in the details. From the doors’ handles commissioned to a London craftsman to the gold-plated doors and handrails, or the home fragrance personalized for each room, everything has been studied with great care and aesthetic sense.
Campana Suites is an absolute novelty, so some details are still to be finalized*. Until the breakfast room is ready, breakfast can be enjoyed in one of the lovely patisserie shops of the city centers, which has a discount agreement with the structure. Crossing the street, other wonderful “Campana” worlds await you: Bottega Campana 1863, a cocktail bar opened inside the historic family furniture store by Jay’s cousin, and, a few meters away, Campana Fashion Store, a fashionistas’ paradise run by Anna, Jay’s mother.
Style, courage, and entrepreneurial vision are not lacking in the family; Jacopo will not stop, in fact, here. Campana Suites will soon open in Venice followed by other European capitals with the idea to merge the “Campana” brand identity with the inner local heritage of each structure.
Where: right in front of Piazza degli Scacchi, Marostica’s main square, internationally famous for the human chess game event
When: any time for a fab stay in Veneto
Why: to spend a cool holiday in one of the most iconic places of the little the medieval town: the former house of Franco Campana, the charismatic entrepreneur who “invented” the human chess game
How: there are 6 rooms to chose from, each of them differently furnished: Franco, inspired by his grandfather, with a cool design shower in the room, and Aida, Franco’s wife, on the ground floor; Fred (Buscaglione), with a sexy bathtub in the middle of the room, and Alice and Ellen (the Kessler twins) on the first floor; and Dante, Franco’s brother, a spacious suite apartment on the top floor. Almost all the rooms boast a suggestive view on the ancient walls that surround Marostica and are equipped with modern comforts: wi-fi, plasma TV, orthopedic mattresses and pillows, mini bar.
*Rooms from 80 euro, minibar included, breakfast excluded