Virtuoso Life - November/December 2017 - 104
Torcello was once the area's bustling trade
capital, but only 12 residents remain today.
They're joined by a handful of shops and
trattorias, including Italy's famed Locanda
Cipriani restaurant, which has welcomed
everyone from Princess Diana to Elton John,
and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta,
the seventh-century Venetian-Byzantine
basilica that holds a revered gold-leaf mosaic
of the Last Judgment.
I meet Bisol in an old antiques shop hidden beneath the cathedral's shadow. While
he says hello to the owner, I browse the mementos of lives lived in these coastal communities: silver flatware, gemstone rings,
vintage maps. Bisol leads me behind the
store, through a secret garden and past a set
of iron gates, into a small patch of vineyard.
"My father heard of dorona surviving
here," Bisol says as we pick grapes from the
vine and pop them into our mouths. "One
day, as he was approaching the island, he
could see the distinct shape of the dorona
leaf, and he asked to see the land."
The elder Bisol uncovered three vines of
dorona di Venezia - the golden grape of Venice - and, with the landowner's permission,
Boat life on the Grand Canal.
A Venice vacation primer, dinner and drinks included.
GO Venice stays busy year-round,
but for fewer crowds, avoid high
season (April through October), when tourists and cruisers
descend on the city. Burano, Mazzorbo, and Torcello are a 35minute ride from the main island,
via public vaporetto or private
EXPLORE Virtuoso travel advisors can
work with I.D.I. Travel, one of Virtuoso's on-site connections in Italy,
to arrange private, customized
experiences on Burano, Mazzorbo,
and Torcello. Highlights include
antique-boat tours, cooking
V I RT U O S O L I F E
demonstrations, private lacemaking classes, and exclusive
access to Torcello's secret garden.
STAY For the city's most opulent
afternoon tea, head to The Gritti
Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel,
and its Bar Longhi, decorated with
Murano glass lamps, eighteenthcentury Venetian art, and marble
countertops. The 82-room hotel,
which overlooks the Grand Canal,
also teaches guests the art of
Venetian cuisine at its Epicurean
School. Doubles from $1,065, including breakfast daily and a $100
The 24-room Aman Venice mixes
sixteenth-century frescoes and
painted ceilings with soothing
decor and sleek wood details.
Downstairs, chef Davide Oldani
puts a fresh spin on classic Venetian cuisine. Doubles from $1,115,
including breakfast daily and one
lunch for two.
Hotel Londra Palace's San Marco
views have inspired guests since
the hotel opened in 1853 - it's
said that Tchaikovsky wrote parts
of Symphony no. 4 here. Today,
the 53-room hotel showcases
its nineteenth-century charm in
rooms with brocade curtains and
antique Biedermeier furniture.
Doubles from $297, including
breakfast daily and a $100
CRUISE Approach the City of Canals
by river during Uniworld's tenday Milan-to-Venice journey on
the 130-passenger River Countess. The northern Italy-focused
itinerary begins with two nights
in Milan and dedicates a full day
to exploring Burano, Mazzorbo,
and Torcello. Departures: Multiple
dates, March 30 through November 2, 2018; from $4,399.