When we say "sleeping in history". Or rather "in the legend" as Cariatidi, the exclusive residence by Ca Maria Adele located near the Basilica della Salute in Venice, is housed within what was once the annex of the residence of the Cicogna Mozzoni Volpi di Misurata family.
One of the most beautiful and original palaces in Venice, it was built in the early 1950s at the behest of Countess Anna Maria Cicogna Mozzoni Volpi di Misurata, daughter of Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, creator of the first film festival in the world, governor of Tripolitania and one of the most influential men in Italy. For her Venetian home, the Countess wanted the best, so she entrusted the project to one of the most famous artists of the time, Fabrizio Clerici.
Painter and architect, Clerici was a friend of many artists, from Dalì to De Chirico, set designer for the greatest directors, such as George Bernard Shaw and Giorgio Strehler, as well as creator of extraordinary dresses, such as those he designed for Countess Cicogna for the most exclusive parties of Venice. The contact with the surrealist artists of the time, the suggestions drawn from his travels to Egypt and the Middle East, and his love for classical art resulted in fantastic and visionary inventions for the future Palazzo Cicogna.
The secret garden of Cariatidi, for the exclusive use of guests, is one of the most original and evocative in Venice.
(Alessio & Nicola Campa, owners and interior designers)
In particular, for the palace’s splendid secret garden, overlooked by Cariatidi, Clerici involved other extraordinary artists of the time such as the sculptor Andrea Spadini, loved by the stars of American cinema, from Lauren Bacall to Henry Fonda, famous for his fantastic animals designed exclusively for Tiffany & Co and also used in the George Delacorte musical clock in Central Park, New York, starred in many Hollywood films.
It is to Spadini that we owe that touch of classic inspiration and exotic flavor that has managed to sublimate the symbols of the history of the Serenissima, giving life to a garden populated by dreamlike creatures, such as the 3 androgynous caryatids, to which the residence owes its name, architectural elements that represent sculptures of women, dressed in long tunics, used since ancient Egypt to support parts of a building.
The other original sculptural elements specially designed for the palace are also wonderful, such as the busts of Moors that surround the garden, “hug” by original animal creatures, and the benches decorated with classic motifs. And as if such beauty wasn’t enough, it is the lagoon landscape, on which the domes of the Basilica della Salute stand, that make the garden one of the most beautiful “scenographies” in Venice.
The architectural and conservative restoration project was conducted by architects Patrizia Zambelli and Stefano Bacciolo, while the interior of Cariatidi was furnished by Alessio and Nicola Campa, owners of the nearby boutique hotel Ca Maria Adele and refined interior designers, who have kept intact all the precious original details of the building, from the Venetian floor to the marvelous spiral staircase in wrought iron, combining them with contemporary touches. From the marine theme, present with the original black cord of the grates of the garden portholes, taken up in the brass radiator covers, to the internal details in marble that recall the decorations of the garden, such as the classic columns on which hemispherical Venini vases rest, up to an ironic and refined tribute that winks at the fantastic creatures made famous by Spadini in fashion in the 1950s, such as monkeys and corals. A theme that we find in the decorations of the living room, in the Fornasetti wallpaper used for the headboards and in the Seletti lamps that welcome the guest as they enter.
The services offered to guests of the structure – which has 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 sitting rooms and a kitchen – are the same as those offered by the nearby Ca Maria Adele, such as the 24-hour concierge and the gourmet breakfast that can be served, as desired, in the Ca Maria Adele breakfast lounge, in your room, or in the magnificent garden, with exclusive use.
The building that houses Cariaridi is the protagonist of the docufilm Life and everything else, by Andrea Bettinetti produced by the Venetian Riccardo Biadene with Carole Solive and the collaboration of Alejandro de la Fuente, dedicated to Marina Cicogna, style icon, photographer, screenwriter, and first female film producer in Italy, 85-year-old “model” of the Imitatio Vitae project of the Gucci fashion brand, who lived here, together with her mother Anna Maria, part of her childhood.
In the film, in the beautiful final scenes dedicated to Venice, there is also a cameo appearance of Alessio and Nicola Campa, owners of Ca Maria Adele and Cariatidi. A must-see!