The Venice Experience by Lorenza Lain

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Ca ‘Sagredo goes beyond the idea of five-star hotels. It’s a private residence, an aristocratic mansion, a National Monument. The palace interiors offer masterpieces of important Venetian painters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which among other things adorn most of the 42 rooms. Inside, the restaurant L’Alcova overlooking the terrace of the Grand Canal, offer freshness and color with the Italian tradition. Among the prestigious positions of its general manager, Lorenza Lain, she Ambassador of the Principality of Monaco for the business tourism as well as Vice President International Columbia Association FD New York. And she tell us about it.

The inauguration of this boutique hotel gem dates back to 2007 and she has participated in the project right from the pre-opening operations in 2006. What characteristics have distinguished the ten-year path?

Ca ‘Sagredo actually goes beyond the concept of hotel. I like to describe it as a place of cultural hospitality, and so structured as a real creative industry. Place of cultural hospitality means the maximum in luxury, with discreet and punctual welcoming, courteous and careful service, so to offer at the guest an authentic experience that has as leitmotiv the culture in various meanings, be it art, poetry, music , literature and gastronomy. When I talk about creative industries instead I like to say Ca ‘Sagredo has over time become an inescapable reality of the city itself, so part of the city to make it a reference point. The various awards obtained at international level during these years are the evidence that Ca ‘Sagredo is in fact now one of the most beloved Italian hotels worldwide. On a personal level after 10 years, I can say that I had the opportunity to “create” and “build” one of the finest hotels of Venice will remain one of the most profound and exciting experiences of my life. There’s a lot of me, of my life, Of my training and my path in this building. Also because I feel directly responsible, not only to lead a five stars so prestigious, but to preserve the heritage and identity. My task is to enhance Ca ‘Sagredo through the recovery and promotion of its unique features as well. The personal goal is to make it an Italian excellence that can accommodate exhibitions, concerts, conferences, seminars and give the guest a true Venice Experience.

Can you tell us the story of this precious noble residence?

Ca ‘Sagredo, recognized as a National Monument of the fifteenth century, is the former residence of the Sagredo family and has a very long history. The palace dates back to the thirteenth century: built on behalf of the Morosini family, has been remodeled several times in indoor environments. Around the middle of 1600, the palace became the property of Sagredo, one of the families of the Venetian nobility, in the Grand Council of the Republic since the ninth century. In 1661 the building was in fact sold to Nicolò Sagredo, former ambassador of Venice and future Doge in Rome, as well as the first art collector of the family. In the first three decades of the eighteenth century, the Palace underwent major interior renovations. Zaccaria Sagredo, lived in the second half of the eighteenth century, gathered in the Palace a collection of over 800 paintings from the Renaissance in his day and about 2,000 drawings, including also those of Leonardo da Vinci, and engravings, as well as a valuable library. At the fall of the Republic, the Sagredo alienated most of its properties, while retaining the Palace on the Grand Canal. In the rooms of Ca ‘Sagredo was as guest Galileo Galilei, a close friend of Gianfrancesco Sagredo, one of the three protagonists of the “Dialogo sui Massimi Sistemi”, which set exactly in this palace on the Grand Canal. Among the artistic works of Ca ‘Sagredo who in many ways are far from him, mention the very valuable Alcova now display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

What’s striking your guests between the proposals of the gourmet restaurant L’Alcova?

Talented young chef born in Puglia, the Chef Damian Bassano worked in several restaurants around the world. He began his career in Paris and Strasbourg, and then moved to the United States and Spain, where he worked in three Michelin stars Ferran Adrià’s restaurant in Catalonia. Its cuisine is a laboratory: “Experience allows you to create new combinations,” says Chef Bassano. His talent is to transform the simplest products in exceptionally delicious dishes, such as “fragrant tuna medallions with Marsala” and “Risotto with prawns, burrata and almonds.” The culinary offer offer is a true multi-sensory experience: tour with the Chef at the historic Rialto Market: Cooking Class tailor: Dine at the table with the chef, the olfactory dinner with the help of Master Perfumer, the aperitif with the Tenore.

How are changing customer preferences to five stars in Venice, from his point of view?

My point of view  is absolutely privileged. First of all the various positions and institutional roles I cover allows me to be at the forefront in “key” places in Venice where he discusses and makes tourism. First, the AVA Hotel Association of Venice, which is Councillor for the five-star category. Customer preferences have changed not only here, but everywhere in the world towards the experiential direction. And not only because of the very strong presence in our web industry and company, but for the same connotation that you want to give to the trip today. Whatever the market segment (business or leisure), whatever its origin, the traveler does not seek only a room to spend the stay, but an emotion that can really surprise them. So in this light, the reception word to be understood as synonymous with cultural hospitality, not so much meeting the needs of the customer – after all, this should be almost taken for granted – but in making the guest part of the city’s history and place where he stays. Culture and tourism and art are in fact to Venice an inexhaustible resource Multiple activities and synergies: Among the most significant partnerships remember the one with with citizens and Italian museums, for example with the Querini Stampalia Foundation, and with the most important istitutions such as the Venice Biennale, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Civic Museums, the Casino of Venice and  Ca ‘Vendramin Calergi. But also with other international entities such as the Halcyon Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Ca’ Sagredo has also been chosen by the University Ca’ Foscari for the High Range project, the laboratory of the University Ca’ Foscari in order to promote unusual art space, just as it can be this hotel. The activities that take place in the hotel are really manifold : The guest can ask for a personal guided tour of the Rooms, attend a photography course, instrumental concerts or theme meetings. It’s opened the family tree of Casada, in collaboration with the Mazzoleni Foundation from Bergamo, with which will undoubtedly be one of the most glamorous events during the September Festival, the Grand Gala Art Cinema Company. From March until December there is the representation of Othello in Shakespeare in collaboration with Veneto doing for the first time in a hotel in the original language in the noble salons to honor the great bard, 400 years after his death. Ca ‘Sagredo is also the home to some of the most beautiful party of Carnival, thanks to the International Association which has here one of his favorite venues.

Hotel Ca’ Sagredo : www.casagredohotel.com

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