5 x Fosca Urbani's favourites in Venice
Fosca Urbani designer Ottica Urbani
Fosca was born and raised in Venice and continues to live and work there today. She applies her skills as an art historian to the field of design, more specifically to the design and production of special glasses for Ottica Urbani, a family-run company founded in 1953. Originality, creativity and quality craftsmanship characterize their glasses, making them unique and original objects collected by those who love to add a touch of irony to their look. Fosca has two little dogs, Pepita and Papaya, so her favourite places are all dog friendly.
1) Libreria Marcopolo
This extraordinary independent bookshop carefully and competently selects the publishing houses and titles it offers to its loyal clientele. Libreria Marcopolo has two locations, one in Campo Santa Margherita, and one in Giudecca. It’s a magical place where both Venetian clients and foreign guests feel at home: book presentations with authors, readings, writing and photography courses, all with a carefully selected musical background. A stop not to be missed also because of the beauty of the Campo in which it is located. One of the most loved in all of Venice where, when the evening falls, drinking a spritz in good company is mandatory.
2) Berta Battiloro
This place breathes age-old tradition and the highest craftsmanship. The art of battiloro was an ancient tradition in Venice. Gold, silver and other precious metals are beaten to very thin leaves which are used for different types of decoration. It’s like entering a precious treasure chest where you can observe the various phases of gold processing: rolling, the first and second beating, cutting and packaging. Everything is done using age-old techniques and with extreme precision. Maestro Marino Menegazzo is the last goldbeater in Venice and the difference between hand-wrought gold and the industrially made variant is huge, so much so that some customers demand only this type of product to get the most refined result.
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3) Casa dei tre Oci
This marvelous palace, a precious testimony to the neo-gothic architecture of the early twentieth century, is located in a prime spot on the bank of the Giudecca island. The panoramic view of the San Marco basin from the large windows literally leaves you breathless. Today it houses a renowned cultural center offering various forms of contemporary art. Photography is especially well represented with retrospective exhibitions of the greatest masters of photography. At the Casa dei tre Oci you can also discover new talents or take photography courses. It is a very pleasant and quiet place, far from the most crowded areas of the city. And good news for visitors who want to bring their four-legged friend: the whole building is also accessible to them.
4) La Serra dei Giardini
Another favorite place of mine is La Serra dei Giardini in Castello, near the gardens of the Biennale. It is a place of pure relaxation housed in a late 19th century greenhouse that was historically used for the cultivation of tropical botanical species. Today, it is still filled with fresh air, light and colours, as the greenhouse has retained its floral vocation: it houses a nursery of plants and flowers, some spaces for courses in flower arrangement, Ikebana, watercolor and much more. A beautiful thematic library, a coffee maker and a large garden make this place even more welcoming and stimulating.
5) Macondo Alberoni
Another very special place is Macondo, a kiosk on the beach located at the end of the island of Lido di Venezia, at the foot of the Alberoni dam. A wonderful and wild place which can only be reached on foot or by bicycle. It lies deep in a natural reserve managed by the WWF, as various species of protected birds nest there. At Macondo you can enjoy excellent fresh fruit-based drinks or fish dishes prepared and served by an all-female staff. Elisa, the tireless owner, takes care of her clients’ every need: she offers sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and toilets for those who want to enjoy the beach, while still respecting the surrounding nature. And of course, a bowl of fresh water for our furry friends is never too much to ask.
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