{take me away № 12 | Venice, Italy}



The day’s itinerary may have held a leisurely stroll along the canal and a lovely visit to the Basilica di San Marco, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Gallerie dell’Accademia, and perhaps even the Ca’ Pesaro; a stop or two for long lunch and a little shopping. B
ut as the day of discoveries and sites comes to a close, the sun begins to set in the sky, casting an indescribable golden glow over the beautiful buildings and canals of this magical city.


There are gondolas with enchanted passengers return for the evening — there are no cars, but vaporetti. Traditional melodies trail through the waterside streets, through the buildings, and over the rooftop terraces, creating such an impossibly beautiful mix of sights and sounds, and the night has just begun . . .

For this New Year’s Eve, let’s take a trip to Venice, Italy, for a masquerade ball, held in “The City of Masks” in celebration of the year to come.


Masquerade balls, which date back to roughly the 11th century, were extravagant and lavish affairs in which attendees would dress in costume, accompanied with an intriguing mask for disguise. These balls were often associated with the tradition of the annual Venetian Carnival in Italy, and were said to be the highlight of the festival.

above: at Truman Capote’s famous 1966 masked ball, given in celebration of the completion of his book, In Cold Blood

Carnival, meaning, ‘farewell to meat’, is a pre-Lent festival that is celebrated throughout all of Italy, with the Carnival itself, being first held in Venice in the 11th century. As for the masks, they were initially seen on the streets of Venice in the 15th century; some were rather simple in design, while others were much more elaborate, constituting incredible works of art.


In the 18th century, however, masquerade balls were no longer, and it wasn’t until the late 1970s/1980s that the fun of such balls was realized and re-interpreted for modern times. For modern day, masquerade masks may be designed with plastic and fabric, or traditional elements such as clay and papier maché. Not only do they continue to appear at the Venetian Carnival each year, adding an element of fun and history to the event, but throughout the world, at numerous celebrations and occasions such as New Year’s Eve.


Carnival in the 18th century actually began with a series of balls located in St. Mark’s Square, which can be seen on the fresco on the walls of the famous Caffè Quadri. [more about the restaurant just below]


So take your finest jewels and accessories — [perhaps a few feathers] — and your most glamorous gown, and slip on the mask of your choosing you are no longer yourself, but whomever you wish – if only for just one night . . . and away we go for a most unforgettable evening in romantic Venezia . . .




01 | Villa F


Villa F only recently announced the exciting unveiling of 11 well-appointed suites — marking a true boutique hotel — in May 2011. Situated on the beautiful island of Giudecca, Villa F faces the Grand Canal and San Marco, and is only a few minutes away, by boat, from the heart of Venice.


Originally built as a home for noble Venetian families, in the early 20th century it became a luxury pensione for artists, actors and writers of the era. Located in an historic palazzo from the Renaissance, the hotel has been restructured with modern conveniences.


The grand villa, with its soaring ceilings, has been separated into private residences, some with one bedroom, an ensuite and a lounge, while others are two bedroom ‘residenza’ with ensuite bathrooms, terraces, large living rooms with fireplaces, separate, custom-designed kitchen, and views overlooking the private gardens.


There are also full hotel services offered, including: concierge, chef, governess, and butler. Villa F sits on three roaming acres of private gardens, and includes a winter garden and Mediterranean Pool.



02 | Hotel Danieli


A majestic staircase, high ceilings adorned with golden leaves, Murano glass, and ornately carved pink marble columns greet guests magnificently, at this exquisite palace turned hotel.


And in fact, the feature accommodation in the movie, The Tourist, Hotel Danieli occupies an excellent location on Riva degli Schiavoni, (arguably the most desirable of locations) with easy access to Piazza San Marco, a multitude of cultural attractions, La Biennale di Venezia, shopping, outdoor cafès and wonderful restaurants.


There are 225 guestrooms and suites, decorated in carefully chosen materials quite indigenous to the very heritage of Venice. Guests are welcomed to sumptuous and elegant surroundings, some of which feature antique furnishings, precious fabrics and luxurious marble bathrooms, many of which look out onto the dreamy Venice lagoon; a stay here would be easily considered one of the most elegant of hotel experiences in all of Italy.




03 |
Ca Maria Adele


A rather unique and intimate hotel, Ca Maria Adele is located in a tranquil corner of Venice’s Dorsoduro district. Famed for its grand gestures, modern touches and impeccable service, the hotel offers 12 rooms to to accommodate guests.



Beyond the inspiring rooms themselves, the more communal spaces have been decorated in an eclectic manner, with an intriguing mix of antiques and contemporary pieces, selected from around the world. Though quite professionally put together, this boutique hotel seems to welcome guests just as a home might, with every space very much like a new discovery, and yet remarkably comfortable.


And as a fun & unique concept, each room in the Ca Maria Adele has its own title, description, mood, color, dress code, sound, and so on. Such details beautifully add to the experience of this unique slice of Italy.


[editor’s note : ca maria adele was first featured on {this is glamorous} on april 18, 2008] — r.



01 | Caffè Quadri

above : Natalia Vodianova in front of St. Mark’s basilica in the Piazza San Marco / St. Mark’s Square, where the Caffè Quadri is located

Words such as “breathtaking” and “magnificent” certainly come to mind when first taking in the sheer grandeur of Gran Caffè & Ristorante Quadri, overlooking St.Mark’s Square. Many claim that this is one of the few places one can visit in the entire world that has attained its original allure and character through the past centuries.


Indeed, when the restaurant first opened its doors in the later 1700’s, it was quite fashionable to drink coffee, but there were already, unfortunately, 208 coffeehouses operating in the city, 34 of which were located in close proximity. However, the establishment was said to have introduced an entire new angle – Turkish coffee – to the city, and thus, Caffè Quadri was an instant success, all thanks to the novelty of the way in which the coffee was prepared. This beautiful spot called locals and visitors alike to visit, and today, holds a strong reputation for the highest standards of excellence.



02 | Birraria la Corte


For an authentic experience and a taste of genuine local flavor, one must stop in at Birraria La Corte, particularly for a taste of their irresistible pizza. Authentic ingredients, completely free from preservatives and such, only add to the strong reputation that they have built.


Originally a barn in the 16th century, the look now amalgamates both rustic sensibilities with a slight flair of elegance – a place of character and a lively, friendly feel — the cozy courtyard is a particularly charming spot. Though apparently a bit away from the tourist-frequented areas, which is often such a nice treat, Birraria la Corte is worth every bit of the extra trip.



03 | Antico Martini


At Antico Martini, there is the belief that great quality fresh food can be a “voyage of the senses“, and with 300 years of history backing this lovely and welcoming establishment, there are no doubts. Certainly an elegant choice and considered to be one of the most romantic restaurants in the entire city, apparently, not only do they create season after season of amazing menu items, but they are also recommended for those who wish to eat gluten-free.


There are three dining rooms, on the terrace or in the courtyard – though in particular, the Antico Martini terrace has a most spectacular view overlooking the theatre square and provides a wonderful ambience for lunches, dinners or perhaps after-theatre drinks. The Antico Martini is considered one of the premier dining experiences in Italy.






When attending a masquerade ball, whether one chooses a more traditional or modern attire, one thing is for certain — glamour and opulence is key to achieving your look for the evening. And whether you are heading to Venice for this New Year’s Eve or perhaps would like to plan on a trip one day, we suggest glittering nails and shimmering accessories, elegant lines for an evening of flirtatious fun . . .


1 – Tiffany & Co. Diamond & Emerald Brooch and Earrings // 2 – Neiman Marcus 1950’s Cream Shrug // 3 – Rachel Gilbert Aria sequined silk-chiffon gown // 4 – venice mask // 5 – Annick Goutal Heure Exquise Eau de Toiliette // 6 – Christian Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm SPF 10 // 7 – Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color // 8 – Whiting and Davis 1930’s Mini Gold Mesh Bag // 9 – Bals: Legendary Costume Balls of the Twentieth Century [Hardcover] by Nicholas Foulkes // 10 – Guerlain Parure Compact Foundation // 11 – image via Real Simple // 12 – Miu Miu Glitter-finish leather sandals // 13 – Veuve Clicquot

, haute design

p r e v i o u s l y :

* take me away № 01 | perfectly packed
* take me away № 02 | luggage to last a lifetime
* take me away № 03 | tips for buying luggage
* take me away № 04 | vintage & antique luggage
* take me away № 05 | the travel file
* take me away № 06 | an equestrian escape
* take me away № 07 | la maison du chocolat
* take me away № 08 | holiday etiquette
* take me away № 09 | st. petersburg, russia
* take me away № 10 | holiday etiquette, part two

* take me away № 11 | travel by train


{images: a previous post // EyePoetryPhotography // Mario Sierra // PinkBow // .natasha. via a previous post // The Cherry Blossom Girl // Simone LomoLove! // Villa F // Parataxtic Distortions //
Mario Sierra // Valentino Haute Couture via {a glamorous little side project} // Villa F // EyePoetryPhotography // Hotel Danieli // Kristatomic //backstage at Elie Saab Couture // Ca Maria Adele // Ca Maria Adele via a previous post // Natalia Vodianova in That’s Amore, Vogue US July 2005 // Caffè Quadri // The Marion Housebook via a glamorous little tumblr // Birraria La Corte // Antico Martini // {this is glamorous} via {a glamorous little side project} // Jerry Law}

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curled up in her home library, exploring enchanting tales, lands to be discovered and explored, intriguing stories, and timeless beauty. What resulted is a lifelong passion for love and authenticity, delightful simplicity and beautiful moments. Educated in design, marketing and English, Sarah’s keen eye and aesthetic allow her to immerse beauty and heartfelt passion into both her personal and professional projects.

33 Notes
  • Gertrud said...

    wunderbare Stadt Venedig

  • Amazing photos of glamarous Venice.
    Venice is my dream destination..I have planned a trip to Venice in March.
    Looking forward to make my Venice trip exciting.
    Advices and tips are accepted. :)

  • Venice, the way you presented it, is a fairytale.The only city that can truly be described as unique. I’ve been there twice and I really want to go again every year. Thanks for sharing and for the tips. I have to eat in the places that you recommended.

  • gorgeous photos. Inspires me to go to Venice soon!

  • Beautiful pictures, would love to visit Italy. Happy New Year to you. Best wishes, Elisabeth from Holland

  • Never been! (But I spent 4 months in Firenze….).

    I LOVE everything about Italy – the culture, the food, the language, the architecture and the fashion. I am convinced I lived in Italy in a different life (even I was only a lazy, Alley Cat!).

    Hugs and Happy New Year to you both.

    Lovely post, Ms. Sarah!


  • Stunning.
    Happy New Year!
    xo isa

  • Just beautiful….so magical.

  • Yes, please! I love the classy feel of the pictures you posted. Venice seems completely perfect. However in the end, I do think I would choose spending new years eve with my friends rather than going to venice.

  • so so so pretty!!

  • Anonymous said...

    I loved Venice when I was there as a student, and although didn’t have the budget for the oppulence you show, was certainly blown away by the everyday luxury that is Venice.

  • I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Danieli in Venice…and it was just as magical as in the pictures! Such a beautiful post, well done!

  • Sarah certainly knows glamorous!! Venice? I am sooo there! Love the hotels she highlighted… sigh… xo

  • Anonymous said...

    I cant stop smiling after reading this. Your posts have such a feel good factor to them, though my list of must see places is getting a bit long :D

  • I only spent about 24 hours in venice, not nearly long enough! It’s been three year and I miss it dearly, hopefully I shall visit again soon!

  • This is absolutely stunning! Makes me want to go to Venice even more

  • amazing post! Traveling to italy this summer, and these pics and hotels make me so excited:)

  • As always, another detailed and fabulous post! There’s no place like Venice!

  • Gorgeous, magnificent post!!

  • Fabulous post! Venice is a dream… My husband and I spent some time there last year, and you definitely highlighted some of our favorite spots!

  • amazing post darling! I’d love to be there now! have a fabulous New Year! xo

  • oh this was beautiful … makes me want to rush back immediately .. thanks so much, happy new year

  • yes, let’s take a trip to Venice, Italy….far better than the gloomy winter weather in my current city. Beautiful pictures to look at and imagine with. Happy 2012 new year to you as well.

  • My yearning for Venice is now extraordinarily great! I miss hearing the competing orchestras playing in front of the glowing cafes at night.

  • Gorgeous pictures, always great inspiration!! Thanks for sharing a beautiful blog, and cheers to 2012!

  • Can you believe I have never been? Oh! I really must put Venice at the top of my list! How magical!

  • I live near Venice… it’s a dreaming city even if I saw it thousands times!

  • Bellissime foto.

    Buon Anno.

  • Miss Venice… such a magic place! Happy New Year!

  • Lovely, lovely, lovely !! I’ve been lucky enough to have been in Venice several times, but one never gets too much of it! Thanks for the promenade!

  • This post is very timely – friends of mine are in this beautiful city this week! Thank-you for taking me away to join them :-)

  • I love Venice. It is also a city where no matter who takes the pictures, they turn out beautiful.

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