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Ca’ Sagredo in Venice: Opulently Magnificent

Written By | Jul 20, 2016

The grand hall or Portego of the Noble floor at Ca’ Sagredo in Venice. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

VENICE, Italy, July 18, 2016 – Ca’ Sagredo is an astonishing 15th century noble palazzo in a spectacular location along the Grand Canal, literally around the bend from the Rialto Bridge in the beautiful Cannaregio district, or sestieri, of Venice. The ancestral home of the noble family Sagredo since the 1800s, Ca’ Sagredo is one of the world’s most astonishing five-star hotels and an acclaimed member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Ca' Sagredo as seen from the Grand Canal. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Ca’ Sagredo as seen from the Grand Canal (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Opened in 2007, just across the Grand Canal from the world famous Rialto fish market, and right next door to the extraordinary Ca d’Oro museum, Ca’ Sagredo is like a world unto itself.

Extravagant rooms, suites and a ballroom on the third floor are as stunning as they are opulent, with thunderously grand staircases and massive restored ceiling frescoes from the 17th century.

With a total of 42 gorgeous rooms, an impeccable location, extraordinarily elegant furnishings and the exquisite restaurant L’Alcova, Ca’ Sagredo takes the luxury Venetian hotel experience to sensational new heights.

The lobby has the air of a stylish museum, with polished Venetian tile floors, marble walls and a 30-foot ceiling surrounded by the interior balconies of the second floor, and a gigantic carved wooden masterpiece for a front desk.

Entering the hotel by motoscarfo from the Grand Canal is like being transported into the golden age of Venezia and being swallowed up by the grandeur of the ancient Palazzo.

The Grand staircase off the lobby of Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The grand staircase off the lobby of Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Just off the lobby is the grand staircase designed and completed by architect Andrea Tirali in 1732, leading to the noble rooms on the third floor of the hotel.

This impossibly beautiful vaulted chamber stretches 50 feet to the top of a spectacular fresco-covered domed ceiling painted in 1734 by Pietro Longhi depicting “The Fall of the Giants.”

The frescoes themselves, almost 300 years old, have been meticulously restored to near mint condition.

Marble cherubs by Venetian sculptor Francesco Bertos guard the entrance to the staircase, their eyes darting upward to the curved walls at the top of the chamber.

Climbing the ornate marble stairs leads to the Portego, the great hall of the noble floor, a 150-foot long chamber with 20-foot ceilings and thick wooden beams hung with a series of ancient Murano Glass chandeliers that set the room ablaze with light.

Paintings by Andrea Urbani line the walls in the grand Portego at Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Paintings by Andrea Urbani line the walls in the grand Portego at Ca’ Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Ornate canvasses painted by Andrea Urbani from 1774 to 1780, depicting ruins and landscapes, hang from the walls down the length of the chamber, leading to floor-to-ceiling leaded windows that overlook the glory of the Grand Canal.

Just off the Portego is a series of glorious chambers leading to the grand Music Ballroom. The first chamber, a sitting room with coffee tables and newspapers, is roughly 50 feet long with deceptively plain cream plastered ceilings with pink cornices at the corners.

This leads to two rectangular chambers, the first with ornate pink plaster cornices and the second with swirling gold leaf patterns, and both with ancient 30-foot square ceiling murals painted in the 1700s.

As impossible as it is to believe, these are the breakfast rooms, incredibly ornate with gorgeous Venetian tile and 20-foot ceilings. It is like being invited to breakfast with Leonardo da Vinci at the home of the Doge.

One mural, by Nicole Bambini in the 17th century, “The Defeat of Vices,” is surrounded by elegant pink stucco from the 18th century, while the other is a blue- tinted masterwork by Giambattista Tiepolo surrounded by golden stucco.

Sipping hot coffee and dining on sausage and eggs while gazing up at the ceiling is completely surreal, as opera music swirls in the background in what is surely a delirium dream.

Following the strains of opera to its source leads through ornate double doors into the Grand Music Ballroom itself, a fabulous 60-foot square chamber with a 30-foot vaulted domed ceiling, whose walls and ceiling are completely covered with frescoes from the 16th century attributed to Gaspare Diziani.

The stunning ceiling frescoes of Gaspare Dizziani in the Music Ballroom at Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The stunning ceiling frescoes of Gaspare Dizziani in the Music Ballroom at Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

This stunning ballroom is used for weddings, special events, concerts, parties and receptions, in a setting as immaculately beautiful as it is sumptuously overwhelming.

The curvature of the walls at the corners is seamless, drawing the mind into the illusion of a dome, dazzling in its glory, lit by gold leaf chandeliers, brilliance emanating across time from centuries old ceiling frescoes brought to life.

Cannaregio as seen from the window of the Music Ballroom at Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Cannaregio as seen from the window of the Music Ballroom at Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

A window in the corner of the ballroom looks down on the main street of the Cannaregio district, which bustles with shops and restaurants, including the fabulous local favorite Vini di Gigio. Filled with quaint alleys and hideaways, Cannaregio is a bucolic and serene corner of Venice, far from the thronging masses at St. Mark’s Square.

Hotel manager Lorenza Lain is a force of nature who continually sustains the vision of Ca’ Sagredo as a classic Venetian experience in overwhelming surroundings amidst the immaculate settings of this transcendent 15th-century palace. She succeeds magnificently.

Hotel manager extraordinaire Lorenza Lain in the grand Portego of Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Hotel manager extraordinaire Lorenza Lain in the grand Portego of Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Rooms throughout Ca’ Sagredo are stunning, sumptuously furnished, with a presidential suite and several historical suites that are simply jaw-dropping.

The stunning Library Suite at Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The stunning Library Suite at Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

The Library Suite, once the personal chamber of the Sagredo family, is fully restored with gold interiors, 30- foot ceilings and incredible furnishings. The second-floor balcony wraps around a regal suite overlooking the Grand Canal.

The Art Suite, a series of glorious rooms that were once the Casino Sagredo, is adorned with detailed fresco ceilings from the 17th century, fully restored and dazzling, a chamber of unsurpassed opulence overlooking the interior garden.

The presidential suite occupies a full corner of the third floor, with 20-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling Venetian windows and a regal air of luxury and style.

The junior suite at the corner of the palazzo on the second floor is simply beautiful, with windows overlooking the Grand Canal in two directions, a balcony with views of the historic Rialto sea food market across the Grand Canal, and a string of gondola bobbing outside in the water just below the window.

The walls of the junior suite are covered with an understated green damask cloth, the ancient hardwood floors decorated by antique rugs, and Murano glass light fixtures throughout the room.

A large cream-colored couch with gold trim adorns the sitting area of this gorgeous room, and gold leaf gilt antique mirrors hang in both the room and the marble covered bathroom.

A traghetti crossing the Grand Canal from the Rialto market to Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

A traghetti crossing the Grand Canal from the Rialto market to Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

A traghetti takes customers by Gondola from Ca’ Segredo to the Rialto Market across the Grand Canal for the price of two euros, easily the most affordable gondola ride in Venice.

A rooftop patio has views stretching all across the red-tiled expanse of San Polo sestieri as the sun begins to set. Special dinners and events are frequently held here, with a 360-degree Venetian panorama as the backdrop.

Dinner at the restaurant L’Alcova is a fine dining extravaganza with an innovative menu under the guidance of executive chef Damiano Bassano.

A platter of crudo is a wonderland of different crustaceans, shrimp, prawns, squill (a form of langoustine), as well as sea bream and tuna tartare. This Venetian delicacy has gained wildly in popularity, and is amazing for the sheer variety of seafood, which melt elegantly in the mouth.

Crudo of shrimp, prawns, and squill at L' Alcova Restaurant at Ca' Sagredo. (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Crudo of shrimp, prawns, and squill at L’ Alcova Restaurant at Ca’ Sagredo (Photo by Alison Reynolds)

Lobster Caprese is an exceptional opening dish, and the fresh tagliatelle homemade pasta with venison ragout is a delightful taste sensation.

A platter of grilled fish from the Rialto market is the classic Venetian dining experience, the fish tender and succulent, flaky and flavorful.

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Joel Berliner

Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles who has written for The Washington Times, Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Chicago Tribune, Honolulu Advertiser, El Paso Times, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among many other publications. He is excited to be here at CDN, where along with his wife, photographer extraordinaire Alison Reynolds, they will travel the globe in order to bring you The Good Life.