Venice Italy

This story is about an ancient variety of grape that grew between the buildings in Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal. Where tourists now walk among souvenir stands and coffee shops, once thrived a big garden made of vegetable gardens, vineyards and orchards. The word ‘Campo’ in the peculiar Venetian topography is the only trace left of that garden. Back then, a plant with golden bunches, the Dorona, grew and adapted itself to the hostile environment of the laguna; until 1966, when the water rose so high it flooded the vines, drowning the agrarian culture that this plant nurtured.

Years later, the Bisol family resumed this story. After a long search in the area, they found eighty-eight surviving plants and transplanted them on the island of Mazzorbo, within a small clos surrounded by medieval walls. The Dorona grows there now, with Venice as a background; it produces a rare wine – Venissa – the outcome of a rediscovered story. Beyond its rows, a starred restaurant awaits you: carefully collected ingredients, delicate preparations, and a few rooms where you can spend the night, while you wait for the laguna to fall asleep.

Words and photographs Federica Calzi.

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