We have seen many modern hotels, even a few post-modern ones. And in a city like Venice, deeply attached to its past, we might expect a hotel to lean toward the classic, to play up its connection with Venice’s unique architecture and history.
Hotel Ca’Pisani, then, is a surprise, in design terms. Though the exterior is classic enough, housed as it is in a five-hundred-year-old merchant townhouse, the interiors show a strong Futurist influence. This is not to say that Ca’Pisani is futuristic, by any stretch of the imagination — this is the Futurism with a capital F of the Thirties and Forties.
Thus expect bold design, emphasizing velocity, as in La Rivista, the restaurant, with its name dashed across the floor in bold, kinetic script. The hotel is Futurist through and through — even keeping a number of artworks by the futurist Fortunato Depero on permanent display. All this is such that Ca’Pisani makes a unique impression, and is a hotel with a distinct design personality.
Of course the hotel's facilities have come a long way since the Forties, with electric curtains, remote-opening doors, and good old Italian satellite television. The beds are actual period pieces, from the '30s and '40s, and the bathrooms are finished with a unique reflective “starlight” masonry.
Ca’Pisani offers a Turkish bath, and a spectacular rooftop solarium/terrace. Gym facilities are off-site but nearby. Also in the neighborhood is, well, everything one comes to Venice to see. The Peggy Guggenheim foundation is literally next door, as are the Accademia Galleries, and all other significant tourist attractions are within a few minutes’ walk. This is a uniquely charming hotel, with personality to spare, and proves that white walls and difficult furniture are not the only ingredients in a successful hotel design.
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