The Gritti Palace (VE)
The Gritti Palace is a treasure chest of art and beauty that contains the very best of the world’s most iconic artistic handicrafts ranging from 1475, the year the building was commissioned by the Pisani family, to this day: from Rubelli silk fabrics to Pietro Longhi paintings, from Riva yachts to Ruinart champagne and Acqua di Parma scents.
Palazzo Gritti has returned to its ancient splendor in 2013 after extensive restoration works. The elegant interiors recall the Grand Tour and count a remarkable private collection of artworks: the Explorer’s Library, for instance, features a portrait of the mighty Doge Andrea Gritti, who in 1525 turned the palace into his residence, made by Tiziano Vecellio’s work studio, whilst at the Bar Longhi guests can enjoy drinks sitting at a marvelous bar counter, a baroque altar coming from a Sicilian church, whilst admiring three 18th-century paintings by artist Pietro Longhi.
Second home to many famous artists, from Peggy Guggenheim to Ernest Hemingway, their testimony, along with that of the international gotha of the showbusiness industry, can be seen in the “Hall of Fame”, a corridor decorated with newspaper clippings and autographed photos that leads to the Gritti SPA – Sisley Paris. The Hotel offers 61 rooms and 21 suites, all furnished differently, including the famous Presidential Suite where Ernest Hemingway wrote the novel “From the river and among the trees”. And yet another suite, the Redentore Terrace, is the keeper of one of Gritti’s most spectacular secrets: a wonderful panoramic rooftop of 250m² overlooking the Grand Canal, opened to the public on very few, exclusive occasions.
On the ground floor, opposite the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, Riva Lounge is a panoramic bar created in collaboration with Riva, the famous manufacturer of luxury boats, inspired by the legendary Dolce Vita yachts with polished wood and stainless steel detailing. At the hotel’s watergate, an elegant Aquariva (that of James Bond just to say…) is available for hotel guests to discover the Venice Lagoon in style.
The restaurant Club del Doge, with its superb terrace on the Grand Canal, is managed by chef Daniele Turco who bases his cuisine on the Venetian tradition, paying close attention to the freshness and seasonality of the raw materials. His dishes range from hand-chopped Fassona beef tartare with beetroot, finger lime, seasonal sprouts and burrata cheese stracciatella to Felicetti Matt wheat spaghetti with black garlic, baby squid and sea lettuce, not forgetting the Gritti’s timeless proposals such as the scampi risotto prepared according to the recipe loved by Ernest Hemingway or the selection of Venetian cicchetti (spider-crab, small prawns, baby scallops, whipped salt cod, Sardines “in saòr” paired with seasonality).
The Gritti Palace also includes the Gritti Epicurean School, a Venetian-style cooking school (also open to external guests) where chef Daniele Turco hosts his renowned classes that included a fun visit (and aperitif!) to the famous Market of Rialto.
Where: Venice, on the Grand Canal
When: anytime, for lunch, dinner, drinks or the afternoon tea
Why: one of the most beautiful “art hotels” in the world, boasting a collection of rare antiques and exclusive handicrafts from the 15th century up to this day
How: in summer enjoy a Bellini at the Riva Lounge terrace, in winter ask for a signature cocktail at the lavish Bar Longhi
Ristorante Club del Doge Menu (from May to October from 19.00, in winter also open at lunchtime):
First Courses: 24 – 34 euro
Second Courses: 44 – 52 euro
The Gritti Terrace Menu (from May to October 12.00 – 18.00):
Snack & Salads: 22 – 35 euro
First Courses: 24 – 34 euro
Second Courses: 37 – 43 euro
Bar Longhi Menu (11.00 – 1.00) and Riva Lounge Menu (from April to October 18.00 – 1.00, in winter 11.00 – 1.00):
Drinks & cocktails from 16 euro
Afternoon Tea (served from 15.00 to 18.00 @ Bar Longhi and The Gritti Terrace):
38 euro per person served with a selection of mini sandwiches, pastries and organic jams.