Venice, Italy: a City of Dreams

Art Culture Fashion Travel

Venice, Italy...there is no other place on earth quite like it. It is known as the floating city due to the fact that the city of Venice consists of 118 small islands connected by numerous canals and bridges. Yet, the buildings in Venice were not built directly on the islands. Instead, they were built upon wooden platforms that were supported by wooden stakes driven into the ground. Over time, those wooden stakes have petrified creating a more stable structure than one would think. It's just one of the many mysteries you will find in Venice.

There is a wonder and magic to the place which one cannot deny. It is also known for it's wonderful artisans, delicious cuisine and unique culture. One of their most well known and exported artistic treasures is Murano glass. 

The origins of glassmaking in Venice go back to the times of the Roman Empire when molded glass was used for illumination in bathhouses. Blending Roman experience with the skills learned from the Byzantine Empire and trade with the Orient, Venice emerged as a prominent glass-manufacturing center as early as the 8th century. It became the city's major industry for many years. It went through several declines throughout the years, but fortunately was revived by artists wanting to save the ancient techniques. Today it continues to be a thriving industry that is deeply rooted in Venetian culture and history. And it's distinctive style and high quality is easily distinguished from other types of glass. 

Another artistic treasure from Venice is Burano lace. The origins of Venetian lace are lost to history. According to legend, a love-struck sailor gave a Venetian girl an aquatic plant called trina delle sirene—mermaid’s lace. The girl was so taken with it that she immortalized its beautiful form with fine threads, and the art of lacemaking was born. Over several centuries, Venetian lacemakers produced wonders of breathtaking intricacy, extremely fine pieces stitched together with gossamer-fine threads. For three hundred years their work boasted the most prestigious lace pedigree in Italy, if not in the world. It was worn by royalty and the nobility reaching its heyday around the 17th century. It fell out favor after the French and American Revolutions. Fortunately, it too was revived over time. 

Many of the women you see on Burano Island today making lace in the squares and on the sidewalks learned the craft from childhood, either from their mothers or grandmothers, or from the old lacemaking school. The craft continues thanks to today’s lively Venetian tourist trade, which still supplies buyers for this longstanding art form.

Once a year Venice becomes a destination point for those wanting to participate in the revelries of Carnival. From feasts of indulgent food and drink, to masked disguises and the rowdiest parties of the year, this celebration lasts for several weeks in February and March, ending with Martedi Grasso, or Mardi Gras, which marks the beginning of Lent. The festival supposedly began in 1162, in celebration of Venice’s victory over Aquileia. However, mask-wearing in the Venetian lagoon could go back as far as the 9th century. It’s a time when the rigid social hierarchy is softened, processions and plays come into town, and music, dancing and debaucherous activity takes over the streets. It’s a postmodern version of the pre-modern festival.


The creators of our fragrance brand Lavender & Lillie were married in Venice and they've given us some tips for their favorite spots. For an amazing hotel they suggest the Europa e Regina, which faces the glorious Santa Maria della Salute on the Grand Canal. It is a glamorous and elegant luxury hotel, with marble floors and Murano chandeliers, and being near San Marco it is great for exploring the city.

For restaurants they always go back to Antico Martini. Located behind the Teatro Fenice, it serves tantalizing Venetian specialities, and is the perfect place to celebrate a special romantic night out.  A less expensive option is Rosticceria Gislon near Rialto. It is a favorite with locals, and is great for seafood and lasagne.

They love Venice so much they even created a signature fragrance collection after it. Now you too can be transported to Venice with their scented candles, oil diffusers and body care products. 


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