The first time, when I opened the entrance door I was overwhelmed by a view that I had not expected: in front of me the Gothic church of the Frari and the campo surrounded by beautiful buildings. I was a spectator of a magnificent picture!
The dining room and one of the two bedrooms enjoy the same spectacular views with a slightly different perspective by 7 windows. Also the back of the flat enjoys a good view of a wide and airy campiello and you can see the internal courtyard of palazzo Zen.
The apartment is overlooking a canal and it is in the Frari area. This area is well provided with shops, a supermarket, bakery, patisseries and ice cream parlours, chemists too should you need it. In the neighbourhood you will find many bars, restaurants and the big open air Rialto market is only 10 minutes walk away, I suggest you should go even if you do not intend to buy anything.
A few metres from the flats you have the vaporetto (water bus) landing stage from where you can reach any place in town, but nearby there is also the gondola traghetto (shuttle) that allows you to cross the Grand Canal with only two euros and in ten minutes you can reach San Marco Square.
On foot you can reach the Accademia art gallery or the railway station in 15 minutes. Campo Santa Margherita is where the youth of Venice gather and it is easy to reach.
As you can understand the Frari area is at the very centre of the Venice tourist landmarks, but unlike other places does not suffer the same chaotic human traffic.
When I saw this apartment it was “love at first sight”. Then, little by little, I discovered its secrets; the interior feels a part of the Campo dei Frari. The sunlight, the colours at sunset, the sounds of the people, the gondoliers‘ chatting and the music of the street performers keep you company, but they are never too invasive, and at night it is tranquil. You have the impression of being in the middle of a Goldoni play as privileged spectators.
A famous French writer lived in this apartment for over ten years. She told me that unwillingly she had to go back to Paris because her job is to write books about people, but she liked living in this flat so much that she never went out and lost touch with the people. She preferred to watch from the large windows everything that was happening in the campo, "like being at the theatre".
Before her the flat was occupied by a German gentleman who invented table games.
I have noticed that those who come here say that they feel well in this place, I like to think that it is a reflection of the positive energy of the people who lived here before.
Interior design is one of my passions and in this case I had to make sure that the external view was predominant.
As time goes by I have become more and more tired of the fake style of the 1700s you see everywhere, I wanted to do something different but still using Venetian features.
I wanted to give a new life to pieces of furniture that had already a story of their own.
The French lady had left me sone Murano chandeliers and two pieces of furniture in wood as dark as the doors. I started to paint the walls and the doors white and to stencil the two pieces of furniture with the skyline of Venice Grand Canal in 1700s.
I transformed the chandeliers into upright lamps.I reupholstered the settees like the old fashioned mattresses, in fine natural linen, brightened by orange cushions.
I enlarged a photo that I had taken of water reflections and put it under glass and there it was, transformed in a small table between the settees. I bleached an old Persian rug and dyed it into a pink salmon colour, I also put a few pieces of antiques here and there to give warmth to the ambience.
I built the two sitting room lamps like two clouds of white material and for a more intimate light there are the Murano lamps. On the walls covered by unique photographs, taken by the official photographer of the Venice film festival: Andrea Vezzù; they link everything together.
I like to sit on the small terrace sipping prosecco and watching the sunset through the old glass windows of the church. I can understand the French writer, this flat charms you and you do not feel like going out.
The light is incredible in this flat, a very difficult feature to find in Venice where the houses are close to each other and you can hardly ever see the sun.
The flat is south facing and this is why the large red canvas blinds are indispensable.
Every room has air conditioning.
The kitchen has a large fridge and it is well equipped (also for cooking lessons).
At home you’ll find guides with recommended shops, bars and restaurants.
If the chef is available, previous arrangement, it is possible to follow cooking lessons.
The final cleaning and wireless connection is included.