A concept store, a shop of wonders, an artisan laboratory. Bottega Cini was born in 2020 from a magical meeting between Marco Vidal, CEO of The Merchant of Venice, a luxury artistic perfumery brand, and Giovanni Alliata di Montereale, grandson of Vittorio Cini and member of the homonymous Foundation.
The store is located, in fact, right in front of the building where Vittorio Cini, famous entrepreneur and patron-of-arts, lived up to 1977, along a romantic calle (street), one of the most beautiful in the lagoon city which leads from the Accademia Bridge to the Basilica della Salute, where some of the most refined artistic shops in Venice, like the Guggenheim Museum Store, are based.
Marco Vidal’s dream is clear: to be a meeting point between the artisan arts of the Serenissima and the business world of today which, thanks to enlightened entrepreneurs, becomes a bulwark of these traditions.
Born from the meeting between The Merchant of Venice, the Vittorio Cini Archive Foundation and Museyoum, Bottega Cini is a new type of museum shop inspired by Renaissance workshops reinterpreted in a contemporary key.
At Bottega Cini you can find, like a true casket of wonders, many refined brands, each witnessing an all-Venetian primacy that will lead you to know many and extraordinary manufacturing arts.
Starting with the perfumes and home fragrances of The Merchant of Venice. In fact, the art of perfume originated in Venice thanks to its trafficking with the Far East, where gentlewomen were already used to perfume themselves.
Continuing with the products of the NasonMoretti and Ercole Moretti glassworks, which respectively made the history of Murano glass art and invented the murrine; the ceramics of Geminiano Cozzi Venezia 1765, famous for being one of the first Italian manufacturers of the eighteenth century to create the legendary “white gold“; the artistic books of Marsilio, Lineadacqua, Elzeviro and other local publishing houses, and the products of the ancient Toscolano 1381 paper mill, which supplied the Serenissima since 1300, and Fallani, one of the most important artistic screen-printing (serigraphy) studios in the world. Venice was, in fact, for a long time the greatest world center of printing, so much so that it is estimated that 38% of the books printed in Italy in the 1400s were produced right here.
Fine art is also present at Bottega Cini with the sculptures in “transparent” marble, such is the skill with which he shapes it, by Giancarlo Franco Tramontin and the forcole by Saverio Pastor who was able to transform the typical oarlock used in gondolas into a work of art.
Bottega Cini is also a place where artisans gather and work; one of the resident artisan is, in fact, the now very famous Marisa Convento, “the last impiraressa” as she is called, keeper of the ancient art of Venetian glass beads which has recently become a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Paying a visit to Bottega Cini is always an adventure because its spaces are attended every day by the protagonists of Venice’s social and cultural life that show up for a “ciacola” (chat); a place where you can make extraordinary encounters, between history, art and truly unique objects.