|Photo at netnicholls|
One Loredan ancestor, Antonio, was the adminstrator of Corfu who defeated the Turks in 1716, together with Count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, a Saxon general. After the battle, Count Schulenburg set up house inside the Loredan Palace, along with twenty-five members of his entourage and four gondoliers, and was known for his illustrious dinner parties and admirable art collection.
In 1752, another ancestor, Francesco Loredan, who also happened to be the Doge, offered the palazzo as a residence for the Ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire in exchange for twenty-nine years of restorations. Even in those days, a Venetian palace was costly to maintain!
The first Imperial Ambassador to live there was Count Philip Joseph Orsini-Rosenberg. If you have read Andrea di Robilant's book, A Venetian Affair, about the intriguing letters exchanged by Andrea's ancestors, you will remember that one of Count Rosenberg's claims to fame was his marriage in his vintage years to the vibrant Giustiniana Wynne -- her passionate love affair with Andrea Memmo was the topic of that book.
In fact, another friend, Ian Kelly, has written a new biography called Casanova in which Giustiniana Wynne is also featured. Ian has dug up even more riveting details about that fascinating woman who, after discovering she was pregnant with Andrea Memmo's child, ran off to Paris to ask Giocomo Casanova for help. She married Count Rosenberg years later when she discovered that Andrea Memmo was in love with another woman. Imagine, after more than 250 years, people are still curious about Giustiniana -- and Venice's grand intrigues.
Venice is like a theatrical production, one that has been going on for centuries. The set remains almost the same, as do many of the characters -- shopkeepers and gondoliers, fishmongers and aristocrats -- each playing their particular role. Great minds built this city; their thoughts still permeate the air. Memories linger on silk wall coverings and dangle from Ca' Rezzonico chandeliers. Footsteps from centuries ago have left their imprint on the pebbled Venetian pavimento. Every living space comes with a story, one that you can step into, or one you create yourself.
These days, the Palazzo dell'Ambasciatore is owned by the Gaggia family. The grandmother of Filippo Gaggia used to entertain in the piano nobile you see, which is called Ca' Cerchieri.
Filippo Gaggia is now one of the owners of Views on Venice, one of the most prestigious short-term rental agencies in town. More importantly, Filippo is genuine -- friendly, charming, and down-to-earth. He is a solid spoke in the wheel that keeps Venice a living, breathing city. When I asked him why he was in the rental business, he was pragmatic: "Simple. I love my city and I want to live here. Renting properties allows me to do it. Plus, it's fun. I've met people from everywhere, from all walks of life. We've become friends. It's opened up the world for me. And I don't just rent out palaces. I have properties to suit every situation, from studio apartments to piano nobile."
The Ca' Cerchieri Piano Nobile has three double bedrooms each with en suite bathroom, three living areas, a dining room on the Grand Canal, a full kitchen and three/four small bedrooms with two bathrooms and a laundry room. In addition, there is a Steinway piano, LCD flat screen, Bang and Oluffsen sound system, wireless broadband connection and satellite TV, as well as air conditionining in all the bedrooms. Daily maid service and 24 hour butler service is available on request -- as are the prices. It sleeps twelve, and is considered one of the most exquisite properties to rent in Venice.
If that sounds a little overwhelming, there are other apartments available inside the same palazzo, such as Ca' Cerchieri 1, a simple, elegant apartment with a living area that looks over the palace's garden, a master bedroom with a king size bed, a completely equipped kitchen, a living room with two single beds, and a bathroom with a bathtub.
In fact, Views on Venice has excellent apartments all over town, in every price range. Because of the agency's fine reputation, they have been able to scoop up many of the best available rentals in Venice. For example, there on the right is the private garden of Ca' Carmini, located not far away from Palazzo dell'Ambasciatore. Ca' Carmini is a two-floor apartment with two living areas (one per floor), two bathrooms (one with shower and one with bathtub), a kitchenette, and a bedroom with a double bed. On the ground floor is a double sofa bed.
There on the left is Ca' Canal, close to the La Fenice opera house, a romantic apartment located on the second floor of a palazzetto, with a king-size bed in the master bedroom, another bedroom with twin beds, a living area, full kitchen, and a bathroom with bathtub and shower -- plus a terrace that overlooks a quiet canal.
To view a complete list of their properties and their special offers, please visit:
Views on Venice
San Marco, 4267/A
30124 Venice (VE)
+39 041 241 1149
+39 041 241 5821 fax
Ciao from Venezia
Go to Main Blog: Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
This post was originally published on Monday, January 12, 2009
at 6:46 AM Pacific Standard Time