Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Venice, The City of My Heart – 2020 Les Clefs d’Or Award Nominee – Italy

Venice is the city of my heart that I love with all my soul and I have always tried to imagine life here as it was during the glory days of the 19th Century.

In this current age dominated by technology, there are still two amazing places that I would like you to discover with me that are ageless, suspended in time. Venice had some of the best artisans, creating masterpieces that made them famous all over the world. The incredible skills and knowledge were passed on by the great masters to their heirs so that Venetian craftsmanship has survived up to today.

We will start our journey back in time at the Cannaregio district, at number 1045 in a small alley “sottoportego dei vedei”, just a few meters away from the “ Ponte delle Guglie”. We are at the doorstep of the Orsoni furnace or glassmaker, very special as it is the last remaining in Venice; all the others are now on the Island of Murano. We are going to discover how the 24k gold leaf mosaics and smalti Veneziani are produced proudly by Orsoni using the same technique since 1888. The Orsoni furnace has manufactured the mosaics for the renovation of St. Mark’s Basilica and they still supply the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

The glass masters are like ballerinas dancing in a theatre, in front of the “crogiolo” the heart of the furnace. They are creating either “sbuffi” extremely thin balloons or pouring a huge volume of liquid glass onto a table in order to make the “smalti”. In the “Sala dell’Oro” there are three ladies. They apply the gold leaf manually on every single piece of glass and the deftness and precision of their work is astounding. At the end of our journey around the furnace we will head toward the Colour Library, an extraordinary place where more that 3500 different shades of smalti are kept. You could stay here for hours your imagination racing.

We will now continue our trip back in time to a new district, Santa Croce, at number 1320 on the banks of the Grand Canal. Stepping inside the door will be like entering into a fairy tale with historic looms dating back to the 18th century. They are very noisy and we are met by kilometres of purple silk. The weaving mill Luigi Bevilacqua was established around 1700 and is one of the most ancient in Europe. We will be able to admire the creation of the unique “Soprarizzo”, an extremely precious and complex fabric. This unique velvet is typical of Venice, and the passion that is put in by the people working at Bevilacqua in order to achieve the highest quality is just poetry in motion. The pace of production is slow since each loom can only produce a few tens of centimetres a day of the amazing fabric, loved by the Doges but also by many fashion designers in recent years.

Meet the Author
Michael Sorgato

I was born and raised in a small village on the banks of the Brenta River in the heart of the Venetian countryside.  The first time I ever met a Les Clefs d'Or concierge was in one of the most iconic hotels in Saint Mark's Square in Venice.  I was only a teenager but it made a big impression on me : I now recognise it was a pivotal moment. From that day onward I dreamt of wearing the Golden Keys.

My journey in the Hospitality profession began in the role of a front desk agent in 2006.  The opportunity I had been longing for arrived in 2012 when I was appointed as a concierge in Milan, the Italian capital of design and fashion.  I spent three amazing years at the Magna Pars Suites, the first Hotel à Parfum in the world. Finally in 2016, I was able to fulfil my childhood dream by becoming a Les Clefs d'Or concierge in the best resort in Venice, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski.

I love to spend my time off with my young family, discovering with them the beauty of Venice and all the Veneto region, and I still spend hours on the banks of the Brenta River, fishing with them now.

Hotel San Clemente Palace Kempinski

San Clemente Palace Kempinski is located on the private island of San Clemente, only minutes away by complimentary boat from Piazza San Marco the pulsing heart of the city.

A proud member of Leading Hotels of the World, this exclusive retreat guarantees peace, tranquillity and privacy.

Enjoy the classic decor of 190 rooms and suites overlooking the lagoon or the centuries-old park. Indulge in our three restaurants – Acquerello, La Dolce, Insieme - while tantalising your senses with exceptional interpretations of iconic Italian and Venetian specialities.

The hotel's proximity to Venice and the unique combination of conference rooms and outdoor areas make San Clemente Palace the perfect choice for outstanding events and unforgettable weddings. With its outdoor pool, tennis court and a state-of-the-art fitness room, and an award winning Spa, the island is the perfect destination to unwind in total relaxation.


+39 041 4750111

Related Articles