In San Stae, a 15th-century Gothic palace hides a secret courtyard and a charming B&B, a love hymn by the architect Daniele Vallot and his wife Brittany Hymore to "their" Venice.
A fairy tale that begins during a Venetian carnival a long time ago when Brittany, an American lady on holiday on the island, meets Daniele by chance and they never leave each other since, deciding to look for a place in the lagoon that he could restore for the couple.
After months of searching, they fall in love with Palazzo Duodo, a residence on the Grand Canal with an entrance from a silent campo (square) hidden in the Santa Croce district. One of the few Venetian palaces that has always been used as a private residence, they begin its renovation, allocating a part to their home and another to a hospitality project.
Cima Rosa is a secret retreat, it is for my family, as well as for all our guests in search of the true soul of Venice.
Even the name chosen is the result of fate: when Brittany mentions the building, at the Municipality office they tell her that it is the one where Domenico Cimarosa, one of the most famous composers of the 18th century, lived, however confusing it with another Palazzo Duodo, that of Sant’Angelo.
Brittany likes the name very much, reminding her of one of her favorite flowers, so in 2011 the B&B Cima Rosa opens its magnificent rooms to the public. What was the old library of the Palazzo becomes the lounge and breakfast room, while on the upper floor there are three bedrooms and, in the other wing of the building, just as many suites, some of which boasting a view of the Grand Canal and an independent kitchen.
The interior, completely designed by Brittany and Daniele, is an eclectic mix of Venetian Gothic splendor and charming objects unearthed on their travels around the world, especially Paris and San Francisco, where the couple also lived before moving to Venice.
The antique furniture that can be seen in the picturesque entrance hall and in the living room are, in fact, the original ones of the Palazzo, dating back to the 15th century, which have been restored and around which, given their size and importance, the architectural and furnishing project was developed.
The breakfast ritual is truly wonderful, whereby, in addition to the buffet based on artisan products, a typical recipe of the American brunch tradition is prepared every morning in the open kitchen, such as pancakes or French toasts. Choose the table next to the window overlooking the Grand Canal: in the summer it will be magical to be caressed by the morning breeze while watching the elegant gondolas pass in front of Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, home of the Casino, located in front of Palazzo Duodo.
While, in the evening, let yourself be pampered with a glass of Prosecco in the magnificent internal courtyard, decorated with ancient statues and a 13th-century well curb which is said to be among the oldest in the city. You can then venture into the calm of Venice by night, heading for a dinner or experience among those that Brittany has in store for her guests.
Brittany loves to personalize her B&B: from the bathroom line (shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion) created for Cima Rosa by a local artisan, up to paintings and selected objects, ever-changing according to mood and seasons, which can also be purchased.
Santa Croce 1958
Tel. +39 041 0995271
Rooms from 350 euro, breakfast included