Just in time for Venice Carnival in February, fashion titan Alberta Ferretti shares the places she returns to again and again in the floating city.
First impressions of Venice
“This city is a magical place for me. Some of my earliest memories are of being here with my family, my wonderment at seeing streets of water, floating buildings suspended between sea and sky. It was like a fairy tale made real. “
“The Doge’s Palace is a landmark, with its gilded frescoes dedicated to the Venetian Republic. In the Dorsoduro district, the Ca ‘Rezzonico is a time capsule of 18th-century culture, art, and architecture. There’s also the Museo Fortuny, a slightly mysterious but completely charming gallery in the Palazzo Pesaro Orfei. “
“Do not get me started on the joys of Venetian cuisine! If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Harry’s Dolci. My friend Carmela Cipriani always has a special table for me with a stunning view of the waterfront. Among the specialties is the famous carpaccio — invented here by Giuseppe Cipriani in the 1950s — and the deliciously creamy baccalà mantecato, a traditional starter of whipped salt cod, which I can never get enough of. “
“I love the Excelsior, the palatial Renaissance-meets-Moorish hotel on the Lido. It has its own beach and is the place to be for the film festival. But my favorite is Ca ‘Sagredo, which has classic grandeur but with an intimate atmosphere. “
“I adore jewelry, and Venice is a treasure trove of it. A visit to Nardi in San Marco is mandatory, and so is purchasing eccentric pieces from Attilio Codognato, a tiny boutique selling memento mori. I often take a boat to Murano on my never-ending quest for period glass objects and mirrors. I also go for the one-off blown-glass designs by Massimiliano Schiavon, a sixth-generation glassblower — he is a master of light, such a key aspect of the Venetian aesthetic. And I always try to pick up colored crystal glasses by Giberto, as well as masks and costumes by Antonia Sautter. “
Good place for a pit stop
“The historic Caffè Florian — a glorious neo-Baroque bar that opened in 1720 — is an absolute must for a Bellini. The legendary designer Walter Albini, a pioneer of Italian fashion, once held a show here. And it’s right on Piazza San Marco — a wonderful spot to admire over a coffee, watching the hustle and bustle of Venetian life. “
This article appeared in the January / February 2022 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.