VENICE: The canals, the centuries-old buildings, the history, food, and romance. Love reigns down in Venice and visitors need more than a one or two-day trip to fully explore it’s many charms. And while it is easy to hover near the lagoon, watching the gondolas and water taxis gliding by from the front terrace of the historic Hotel Monaco, many of Venice’s charms are found in the neighborhoods, churches and small eateries one finds off the tourist path. The first stop of most travelers is San Marco, Venice where love reigns at The Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal.
Venice is a collection of three main islands and seven sestieri or neighborhoods. – Cannaregio, Castello and San Marco on the largest island. Santa Croce, San Polo and Dorsodouro on a second island and Giudecca on yet a third.
Visitors to Venice need a day or two for those must-do tourist visits. St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Ducal Palace, home of the political leader, the Doge. But you will miss Venice’s most beautiful places, the neighborhoods, bars, ages old Churches and small cafes if you do not venture to Castello and Dorsodouro as well.
Each neighborhood is remarkable and deserves your attention. Step away from the tourist throng in San Marco and take hours to explore where the Venetians live.
Wherever you wander, the Venetian sense of art and style are on brilliant display.
The Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, San Marco, Venice –
Where love and legends intersect
Venice has always been synonymous with romance but to one of the world’s greatest lovers, Giacomo Casanova, Venice was a playground. The city, rich and evocative, was called the pleasure capital of Europe in Casanova’s day. It is here he enjoyed good food, wine and the seduction of women.
Recorded history tells us that Casanova was extremely intelligent described as “quick-witted with an intense appetite for knowledge and an inquisitive mind.” Among his career pursuits was medicine, the law, military and even as a church cleric.
Returning broke from his military pursuits, Casanova became a violinist at the Sam Samuele Theater, demolished in 1894.
While the theater where Casanova performed no longer exists, the gambling room where he played with the hearts of women is still standing, looking much as it did when Casanova expertly plied the art of seduction. Learning how to entice young maidens from the Venice’s erotic poet, Giorgio Baffo.
Casanova plied the art of seduction at the Hotel Monaco’s Il Ridotto, or private room. The room today, as it has been through history, boasts a balcony walkway, walls, and ceilings rich decored in imitation of colored marble, mirrors and elaborate festoons of flowers, ribbons, scrolls and shells in stucco.
Gambling was frowned upon in this heavily Christian environment.
Casanova wearing a disguise, as all the patrons did, would gamble while waiting for his next encounter, often escaping down a narrow winding staircase to the first floor and a gondola to whisk them away.
Venetian Luxury at The Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal, San Marco
Casanova would approve of the recently refurbished Hotel Monaco. Rooms feature comfortable places to seduce your paramour in opulent surroundings. The hotel is luxurious with cream tones, gold, and warm sage green. Rooms feature USB ports if you need to plug in. Luxury showers and baths are large enough for two.
Murano glass inspired wall sconces and chandeliers add a bit of Venetian bellezza and romantico to your stay.
Sitting at the Hotel Monaco’s Grand Canal restaurant’s outdoor terrace it is easy to spend an entire day marveling at the Venetian life and tourists gliding be by. It is a virtual feast for the palate and from the plate.
The views of where the Grand and Giudecca Canals meet is breathtaking. The island across the canal is the Dorsoduro district of Venice. The area, home to many wealthy foreign nationals, can be accessed by the ferry cabs, or a walk across the famed Rialto Bridge.
While in Dorsoduro don’t miss the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Punta della Dogana, and the imposing Basilica di Santa Maria dell Salute among its many attractions.
The activity is non-stop as Gondoliers call for fares, good-naturedly shouting out to other boats.
The Hotel Monaco and Grand Canal Restaurant
Lunch at the Hotel Monaco. Image by Jacquie Kubin for CommDigiNews @All Rights Reserved Every meal is luxuriant at the Hotel Monaco’s Michelin Guide restaurant.
Breakfast is rich with pastries, freshly squeezed juice, rich coffee, and fruit. Lunch of fresh-brew iced tea and chicken salad sandwich are leisurely enjoyed.
Maitre d’s are gently professional, yet warm and welcoming. Dishes are traditional Venetian mirroring the bounty of the Adriatic Sea and the fertile lands of Northern Italy. An unforgettable feast begins with a salmon tartare served with cream and drops of Modena vinegar. A fresh pasta with white beans is perfectly balanced with a rich, red sauce seductively clinging to the house-made strands of linguini.
With this plate, Chef creates a dish that pays homage to Venice’s culinary history.
A delicately breaded dish of shrimp, fish, and zucchini is light, filled with flavor and the perfect amount of saltiness. A remarkable beef filet with capers is served tableside, allowing for the seductive drizzle of the gravy, sieved to a silky, mouth-watering perfection to be enjoyed.
A bottle of Villa Minelli Blanco Pino Grigio e Chardonnay is perfect with the meal.
A day in Venice is a day just a big better spent lounging and loving life at The Hotel Monaco.
When you go: