On a foggy morning, Canal Grande looked more refined and sophisticated than ever. This place still seemed to be dreaming and elegantly sleeping. This place already stole my heart.
And the luxurious poems started to shine and sparkle as the first sunrays of that morning, through the porthole windows of the spacious Laguna Suite, which quickly reflected the soul of Venice – made of boats and flowing waters. Some rooms overlook mimosa and magnolia trees in the hotel’s two peaceful courtyards – others, the lagoon and its fleets of passing gondolas.
Let’s dive into this unique venue – which did not feel like a casual stay, but rather like an elegant Venetian experience.
Ca’ di Dio, deriving from the name of God, is where divine beauty becomes timeless, and where an ancient structure feels like a noble 21st century oasis – originally conceived around 1272 and preserved until this day in the most stunning and respectful way possible.
While the Venetian hideaway, once has been a prestigious shelter for noblewomen, today it offers a historical approach mixed with a luxurious modernity and a contemprary approach to hospitality.
Talking history, Ca’ di Dio has lived different lives, without ever losing its true soul. From its original function as an accomodation for pilgrims passing through on their way to the Holy Land, it became a place that welcomed women in difficulty who were left alone or excluded from society, for various reasons.
In 1544 the so-called ‘Procuratori de San Marco de supra’ started a complete renovation of the structure, a task they entrusted to the famous Jacopo Sansovino. The vocation of profound hospitality finds its maximum expression in the restoration and redevelopment that transforms the ancient “house” into the new boutique hotel, which encompasses charm and history, celebrating the city that has hosted it since its origins.
Located right next to the Arsenale District, Ca’ di Dio feels like a boat of wonders, a realm of beauty and a homage to Venice. Every detail is made of palatial and minimal, design-oriented ingredients, which make the place arise and shine bright like a Venetian jewel.
And when talking of jewels, we can’t possibly miss the signature Murano glass lamps, which are to be found in every suite and the stunning entrance hall.
More Murano works are found in the library and the exceptional Bar Alchemia, where masterful cocktails, named ‘Salnegroni’ and ‘Rosalia’ amongst classics and innnovative experiments, are being created by a team of young, motivated experts.
But beyond fancy drinks, exceptional fine dining and the most delicious welcome tea infusions, Ca’ di Dio is about an experience for all senses, emphasizing the visual aspect and curating a passion towards Italian design – ranging from Murano glass to handmade, local fabrics and marble-clad bathrooms.
Deeply tied to the very fabric of the city, the concept that shaped how Ca’ di Dio presents itself today comes from the head and heart of Patricia Urquiola – a project celebrating the Venetian character at its finest.
The research of Patricia Urquiola’s studio is characterized by materials and colors that speak of Venice, its craftsmen, its historical heritage and its unique natural setting.
Indeed, Venice is not only about the element of the water(s), but also about the mainland and its way of living, as well as its vegetaion. At least when we walk through the perfectly designed courtyard, with its charming antique fountain. We even meet countryside animals, such as beautiful Murano ducks and roosters, inspired by the French roots of Christophe Mercier, the man of the house, when having a drink in the library or dining at the chicest VERO restaurant, with a view onto the lagoon. That again, underlines the ambiguity of Venice.
Everything is oriented towards shades and nuances, rather than true colors, transparencies that recall the reflections of water, another key, recurring theme at Ca’ di Dio.
The colour palette is sober and soft, with shades and transparencies in a fluid play of continuous movements, just like water. The idea is to contrast and combine the Venice of the “sconte”, hidden streets made of old bricks, with the Venice of the noble palaces with marble and decorations. To continue the relationship with the place, materials representative of the city and its tradition have been chosen, such as glass, wood, wrought iron, stone and marble.
And what remains certaina after all and after this divine experience, is: Venice will forever feel like a poetic dream, sweet and salty at the same time, heavenly and earthly intertwine. And most certainly, eternal, majestic, noble. Special thanks for a magical stay and welcoming me at the most exclusive Venetian venue and in the most precious way, to everyone working passionately at Ca’di Dio.