Category: Insight Venice Sotheby's Realty (45)

Vittorio Zecchin, Vasi in vetro trasparente 1921-1925

This month, Venice will celebrate its world-famous glassmaking heritage with a new international festival titled The Venice Glass Week. Taking place from 10th-17th September, the festival will include more than 150 events at over 100 different venues across Venice and Murano, ranging from museums and galleries to private palaces, specialist shops, gardens, churches, glass furnaces and even an historic Venetian sailing boat.

As well as spectacular exhibitions such as “Gold” at La Fenice Theatre and “Dew Fire: Giorgio Vigna for Venini” at the Accademia Galleries, the festival will feature a wide range of other events including behind-the-scenes tours of Murano’s secret glass furnaces, and private visits to the ateliers of some of the city’s most celebrated glass artists including Livio Seguso and Laura de Santillana. Conferences will debate ways of ensuring a sustainable future for the Murano glass industry, while practical demonstrations and workshops will give visitors the chance to experience glass-making first hand.

Special highlights include a concert at Palazzo Bru Zane with operatic arias and melodies on the theme of glass, a glass-themed menu designed by Chef Loris Indri at Hotel Londra Palace, and a 5 km night-time run through the candlelit streets and furnaces of Murano.

The Venice Glass Week runs from 10th – 17th September. For more information, visit

Fotografo Luigi ‘Gigi’ Ferrigno – Murano 1960, Reparto Forni Vetro Soffiato a Stampa, una “piazza” (squadra) al lavoro

Whether you are looking to find the perfect home in Venice, or to furnish your home elsewhere, the Venice Glass Week provides an opportunity to be inspired by the many great talents who call this island city their home.

Pae White, Qwalala, installation view, Venice 2017 Ph. Enrico Fiorese

Discovering Venice’s Fashionable Past at Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo

For a fascinating insight into Venetian life in the 17th and 18th centuries, pay a visit to Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo – an opulent palace once lived in by one of the city’s grandest and most important noble families. Bequeathed to the city in 1945 by the family’s last descendent, Count Nicolò Mocenigo, the museum was painstakingly restored in 2013 – to dazzling effect. With sumptuous interiors laid out by renowned set designer Pier Luigi Pizzi, the museum contains a rich collection of neoclassical furnishings, paintings and glass chandeliers – as well as a series of superbly conserved ceiling frescoes painted in the late 18th century for a Mocenigo family wedding.

The main reason to visit, however, is the palace’s historic collection of ravishing Venetian costumes and fashion accessories – drawn from city-wide institutions such as the Correr Museum and Palazzo Grassi. Ranging from duchess adrienne (hip-extending dresses) to exquisitely embroidered silk waistcoats, the costumes are a reminder of the highly skilled craftsmanship and luxurious elegance for which Venetians were internationally famous during this period.

For more information about Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo, visit


I missed writing my blog when I was here in October –  I was so busy I literally didn’t have a minute to myself…but here is the next instalment now

It’s now November and I am back – I travelled late Saturday night, so tomorrow I can actually have a much longed-for free day in Venice!

On Sunday evening I plan to go to the lovely Hilton spa for a relaxing pre-trip massage, but first during the day I want to see a couple of exhibitions, especially the Coco Chanel one at Ca’ Pesaro, as well as the new amazing Fondaco Dei Tedeschi Grand Canal  shopping palazzo – it’s so close to Palazzo Molin, which makes staying here ideal for sending my many parcels over for delivery!

We recently had the person who organised the amazing Launch party and events stay at Molin for 6 weeks – his feedback was amazing.

He wrote ‘What a great property. Spacious, luxurious and comfortable. Staff were amazing. Perfect location.’ That’s praise indeed from such a sophisticated world traveller…

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

As you probably know, I like to stay in different apartments each time I come – but am staying again at one of my favourites –  the divine Longhi at Palazzo Molin

Canaletto Palazzo Molin  
Guardi Palazzo Molin Venice Prestige Luxury Rental apartments Venice
Guardi Palazzo Molin

Thinking ahead, on Monday morning I plan to meet my Milan equivalent to chat about how we work together – at Florian – why not!

This week we have a press trip for 3 days starting on Tuesday, a London based international Private Jet magazine who want to feature our amazing private places to stay – so we are going to show them some stunning properties. We have totally redesigned our websites to offer only  the very best in Venice for rental or sale.
See and


An amazing day
I hit the new Fondaco dei Tedeschi department store on the Grand Canal (or as I like to call it ‘Handbag Heaven’)  by 11. It’s totally architecturally inspiring having been done by an international world class team, a monument to Venice’s merchant history… unique. I am totally impressed, and the rooftop terrace is spectacular too.

Sunday in autumn is always quiet in Venice -forgetting I am in Italy I get to the supermarket at 1 to find it already closed – they haven’t heard of 7/11 here! Indeed no self respecting Italian would need to shop on a Sunday – they wouldn’t be that disorganised! Sunday feels very relaxing here, spending time with family and friends, window shopping and just wandering about and people watching… fun!

Tomorrow as I mentioned I am meeting my Sothebys Milan colleague for a chat as he is here with his family for a few days, and in the afternoon off to the Aman (always a pleasure) to meet some London clients who want to find something special to buy – with a budget of €3/4m you would think it would be easy, but they don’t want to do any restoration and it has to be on Dorsoduro – we have the perfect thing but they want to see several to compare – I hope they are wearing good walking shoes! Our last client was wearing Prada heels – looked amazing but Venice is a place for serious walking!


Have had a lovely afternoon with these exceptional English clients – it always helps when people give you immediate feedback and aren’t afraid to express their opinions – much easier for us to understand what they want, how the apartment is going to work for their family and so on.  They saw something they love but as they have a higher budget they may want to keep looking.  It’s so important to find the right thing that works for you and that you love beyond measure. Buying in Venice is an emotional and spiritual purchase..and is just as much about dream fulfilment as hard investment.

Home by 7 to my favourite apartment Longhi Palazzo Molin– total luxury.


My London journalists from the private jet mag plus  my PR person arrive today, to  stay at Palazzetto Salute Grand Canal. Where better? This is an incredible stunning and unique property, recently re-furbished to exacting standards by some completely visionary foreign clients. Luckily they arrive just in time for a lovely lunch at Beccafico in Campo Santo Stefano. Traditionally in early November it’s still warm enough to sit outside. I choose my favourite lunchtime dish of risotto di pesce – no-one does it better.

They are keen to see as many things as possible in their short time so this pm we fit in the lovely Palazzo Garzoni Moro which is having the finishing touches done to the RUBELLI show apartment and to the courtyard – watch this space! Tomorrow they have full day seeing the top apartments on the Grand canal to let.

After a long relaxing lunch we head back to the apartment for a coffee and to lounge about enjoy the amazing views – quite spectacular. Dinner this evening will be low key as they were up at 4am, and we have lots to do in the next couple of days!


I have said this many times before but Venice is a super place to be -whether you are on holiday, have a place here, or, like me, rushing about for meetings, everything is so close by and you can be everything and everywhere at once.  In between showing the journalists around I manage to fit in a Notary sale, a meeting with my Commercialista, and several meetings with other clients owners and potential sellers… I just couldn’t do that anywhere else.

I also catch up on the amazing Palazzo Grimani restoration being done by John Simpson Architects London  – every time I go it looks more amazing. It really is a mini Hall of Mirrors ‘a la Versailles’. The restorers are working very hard on the extensive restoration of the stucchi and frescoes, and furniture coming soon – very exciting!

Dinner this evening at the excellent Osteria San Marco in the Frezzeria – we are joined by Enrico Isacchi who does wonderful private guide visits for us. His English is amazing and he is great company.  The boys decide to stay on for a nightcap while I head home to sleep!


The press group leave today – they have had a truly amazing time and have fitted in exhibitions, galleries, great food and lots of prosecco tasting too. You can’t fail to enjoy Venice! We wave them off in a lovely wooden water taxi and they glide away to the airport.

PM I pick up with more meetings as well as show a divine off-market property to some French clients before they too leave for the airport – Venice is the ultimate ‘fly in fly out’ place. They love it and decide to make an offer very close to the asking price on the spot – it’s a unique and amazing property.  I hope they decide to let it in the future but I think they may just be planning to use it for their extended family. It’s beautiful and I want it!

I am staying on till Monday evening as I have to meet an important client who will only be here then – we sold an amazing Grand Canal property to him last year and now I am going to see how it’s coming on – this is the best part of what I do – workiing with clients to advise them on interiors and what the sophisticated International client is looking for as a place to stay – I try to veer people away from over personalising their homes – Tyrolean style or John Lewis or faux Venetian not good.  Luckily he tells me he has decided to use our recommended design company so  it will look amazing


During the weekend I will catch up with friends and work. I am also re-locating to an apartment we let on Giudecca owned by some lovely English clients but which is a bit neglected now as they hardly ever come – indeed when I arrive I am put off by the enormity of the task but I spend a couple of days updating it – I am super organised and love interior design so it’s enjoyable – I discover that they have an amazing book collection of lovely art and design books just stashed in cupboards! And lots of clutter I just simply can’t live with… so straight to the store room. The furniture needs re-arranging and I buy some new covers cushions and throws –  total transformation! This is honestly my favourite thing to do in the world. I live in fear of bad taste!


Met the delightful new owner of what is going to be a stunning property on the Grand Canal….the last time I saw it was when it was empty and a bit sad on the day of the sale. He shows me round and I breathe a huge sigh of relief – it’s stunning and will appeal to clients at the highest level. Now we need to wait for it to be furnished to take photographs.  I already have some clients wanting to take it for Biennale next year.


Back to London and meetings with clients here – it never stops! November used to be the quiet time for sales but we are run off our feet – lots of big sales going on.  Its the US elections which we wonder how will affect us – everything in the world is changing, but fortunately in Venice at a much slower rate, and on a human scale

When I meet someone new (whether in London or elsewhere) and they ask what I ‘do’, I am always met with the same reaction – total mystification followed by a ‘wow that must be a great life!’ and so on. I sometimes wonder if people think I spend all my time lounging about in palazzos, having long lunches, and drinking prosecco… well there is that too of course, but most of the time I am very hard at work and on my laptop and mobile 24/7!


At the other end of the scale I find that people in Venice think I am somehow doing the same in London, doing a bit of work every now and again between shopping trips and visits to the latest gallery opening, but the truth is far from that – I read my first Italian email at 7 am and my last at midnight!  Although I am specialised solely in the Venice property market, I find that actually going back and forth helps me to focus more clearly. We work at the very top end of the market in Venice, but our PR and marketing people are in London, as are many clients, both buyers and sellers, so it’s the natural place for me to be. It helps of course that I have a great team on the ground in Venice …. we are always contactable and we go to unbelievable lengths to meet clients needs and to do visits even at very short notice, and will do everything possible to make sales go through as buyers and sellers want, explaining on the way the intricacies of buying in Italy (we speak all the main languages) and making sure everything goes well. This is the most exciting and challenging aspect of what we do.  We love our clients and like to stay in touch, .either socially,  for post sale support or by letting their property for them


I always like to catch up with Italian or Luxe related events when I am here. July saw me attending a delightful reception from Pommery Champagne  at the Swans Bar at ASSOULINE in Piccadilly.  (Assouline has a wonderful bookshop in Venice at the Bauer, with the most amazing books on fascinating aspects of the city and its history)

The Sothebys Old Masters Sale summer launch party was hugely enjoyable and a good opportunity for me to catch up with my Auction House colleagues. This event was sponsored by Italy SIR who are marketing a unique contemporary eco development in southern Sardinia…it was a Cuban Havana theme in the classic setting of beautiful Old Master paintings…vibrant and quite amazing!


When I was in Venice a few weeks ago I felt I was the official UK spokesperson for Brexit!  Many people were keen also to know how things look from the property market perspective – the reality is that the result brings positives and negatives. On the one hand it can be more expensive for UK buyers in the short term but Venice continues to be seen as a safe and relaxed haven by French and other European and US  buyers.  On the other hand where we have British sellers (as we do) they can perhaps accept lower offers now as their Euros will be worth more when transferred back to the UK.  Since the vote the market seems to have actually come back with avengeance as the period of uncertainty wanes – we are finding that the market has picked up incredibly and we are seeing high level clients here even at the height of the hot season looking for that special property


I saw the PALAZZO GRIMANI project again last month and was amazed at how much progress had been made by the Project Manager Giovanni Alfier and his team of’s looking amazing.  I will be back in September for another catch up, and  I am very excited about taking this wonderful property on to let next year


We are busy preparing for next year and focusing only on the best properties as seen on our new website Venice Prestige. Top level buyers usually prefer to let their properties, a sensible thing to do to avoid long empty periods and  that unlived in feel….

Here are a couple of properties we sold this month which we will be launching for exclusive rental  soon

It is now technically the BIG SUMMER BREAK. Last year, from my sun lounger in France and over the entire 10 days of my holiday, I managed a tricky sale by phone and text between some French clients on their yacht in Croazia and some Italian sellers on the beach in Sardinia. This year I wonder if I will actually get to read that book I have had for soooo long? but if that phone rings….how can I resist?
The team at VP and VSR are available throughout the summer – we don’t close down so please do feel free to contact us at any time….anytime at all!


Here for your enjoyment is a wonderful film of Venice — it doesn’t matter how many times you have been to Venice – each time is to discover it afresh, from streets you have never walked down, views you had never noticed, to the big picture when you are speeding across the lagoon in a boat and see the full panorama of this amazing place, full of history, a winning city which continues to evolve and  amaze