We arrived at Venice on a rainy afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the rain(living in London), plus there’s nothing more dramatic than Venice on a gloomy day. I fell in love with the view at the first glance.
And taking the water taxi is definitely not the most economical choice of transportation. But all those polished, mahogany beauties are worth every penny you spend. And that’s not including the stunning view you get of the bank sides(but since it was raining, I couldn’t open the top too much. So more of those in the next posts, I promise).
Going pass the amazing Damien Hirst statue by the Grand Canal, I knew we were close to our hotel Palazzina G next to the gallery Palazzo Grassi.
A tiny little black glass door with a mysterious golden Venetian mask icon in the middle. That was the entrance of Palazzina G, by the canal. My curiosity was instantly aroused, I felt like a curious little kid who could not wait to explore what’s beyond that door.
And as the door slid to the right, I was not disappointed. I was attracted to this hotel in the first place for the through and through Philippe Starck interior design. We sat in the Krug Champagne lounge to start our check in that was completed by a glass of bubbly. I robotically took out my IDs and card as the staff softly asked, while my eyes and mind were completely absorbed by the mystical yet luxurious surrounding of the room, decorated with the most wonderful surrealism arts. A place truly made for imagination and daydreaming. Think Kubrick, Man Ray, or even the artist who was exhibiting next door, Damien Hirst… they would be the kind guests staying this hotel if they visited Venice. And it was not until later that I found out that Jonny Depp had also stayed here, for not 1 or 2, but 3 whole months. Since then that room started to go by the new name: the JD suit. ….Well, you get the gist.
…It’d be rude not to give a toast to this place.
After a short fresh up, we decided to take an architect friend’s advice to go and visit the Fondazione Querini Stampalia . It took us much longer than what google map’s suggested, wowing and stopping at every turn. Venice is famous for being a touristy city. But on a rainy afternoon in the back streets, you have the most picturesque scenes all to yourself. Grand buildings erect magically at the end of every tiny alleyway. And the water and bridges all look just a little more romantic with a drizzly backdrop. A 15 mins journey by foot took me a good half an hour. But it was absolutely worth the time. Plus my stiff computer neck felt so much better afterwards too.
The Museum is a renovated residential house of the extravagant rococo style Querini Stampalia family. Carlo Scarpa redesigned the courtyard, entryway and the garden of the building, which give a contrasty modern, zen atmosphere to those parts of the house. The architecture itself is a hidden gem in the busy district of San Marco, not to mention the furnitures and arts collected and preserved in the various rooms and sections within the building. Get yourself lost in beautiful arts and designs while it’s pouring outside. I doubt if there’s a better way to spend such an afternoon in Venice.
There are countless great museums and galleries in Venice, But if like me, you’re also into a bit of quirky, unexpected elements, make sure to check out Palazzo Grassi(or even better, book to stay at Palazzino G), and Foundazione Querini Stampalia.
Expect a sunny Venice in the next one:)