Il Palazzo Experimental

Venice Italy

‘Sunset and Venice are almost synonyms to me, but my sunset has lost its light and fears the night, whereas Venice’s is delicate and eternal, with no before and no after’. (Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Atlas’, 1984)

Just like every bank, Zattere can be reached by water or by land. This Fondamenta is in the southern side of the city and belongs to sestiere Dorsoduro. In the 1930s, on this sunny edge, close to Ponte Longo, the Adriatica Società Anonima di Navigazione (Adriatica Anonymous Navigation Society) was established. Palazzo Molin became almost immediately the company’s seat. From Bari northwards, the company connected the east coast of Italy and transported passengers and goods to Dalmatia, Albania, Greece and to the Black Sea. In the following decades, wars and the expansion of air and marine transport had a severe impact on the small fleet, which merged with a bigger company in fall 2004. What is left of its glorious past is the name on the building’s façade, a golden writing on a blue background, framed by the large Venetian windows whose design allows a great amount of light inside.

However, today Palazzo Molin’s destiny is to carry out another noble mission: the ‘experimentation’ of a new version of Venetian Grand Hotel. Palazzo Experimental is the latest project by Experimental Group, the family of hotels and restaurants by Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros, Romée De Goriainoff and Xavier Padovani. Inside, the symbols of the Venetian tradition blend with the vision of designer Dorothée Meilichzon and collaborator Cristina Celestino. Hand-glazed tiles, Brecci Capraia-marble and brass details, elegant fabrics, carved woods. The interaction between past and future is a characteristic also of Ristorante Adriatica, which invites you to start a new journey along the Italian east coast – a culinary one. South to north, the menu gathers traditions from Apulia, Marche, Romagna, and Veneto. Another team of illuminated entrepreneurs manages the restaurant: Silvio Pezzana and Toto Dell’Aringa, founders of the Italian Supper Club in London. Here, style does not mean luxury in its usual sense; it means having your eye caught by an unexpected combination, an optical geometry, or by the perpetual coming and going behind velvet curtains, and being surprised. On the water border where Venice and Giudecca continue to meet, during a “delicate and eternal [sunset], with no before and no after”.

Words Meraviglia Paper, pictures Camilla Glorioso. A special thanks to Martina Gamboni.


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