The Mirror Lounge of Aman Venice Hotel
Text Carlo Mazzoni
The Aman Hotel has been housed in one of Venice’s historic buildings. With a size and a square footage of a political palace rather than a private residence, Palazzo Papadopoli overlooks the Grand Canal near Rialto. It still belongs to the Arrivabene family, which has retreated into the attic – no, it is not about cries for an inconsolable Cinderella, the attic encloses a two-story apartment, with vaults and volumes and modern angles. Giving place to the agreement with the Aman collection, the restoration was possible in glory: the facade has rediscovered a milky white that stands out in the decay of the lagoon, the stuccos have chosen vigor and light, the gold leaves on the frames and ornaments have been put down again. As in all the Venetian palaces, the floors appear to float, resting on waltz slopes – it reminds you that Venice is a floating city.
For snobbery or casualness, the Aman of Venice is far from the other big hotels that follow one another between Santa Maria del Giglio and the Royal Palace – you get there by boat, of course – or on foot, at dawn, crossing Dorsoduro. The nights of Biennials, when you do not sleep and keep wandering, whether it is a party at the Lido or the Arsenale, in Venice you do not do other than walk. The patent leather shoes look like slippers, the air is clean even in the sweetness of a spring – every cranny recalls a love or something that resembles sex. Whether it is Valentino’s birthday, a thunderstorm night in September, a new Beistegui ball, the wedding of the daughter of the Marquis of Canossa, Mozart at the Fenice, a lunch by Francesca d’Asburgo after a night at Palazzo Volpi, the presentation of the Bulgari’s high jewellery – when photographers, journalist models ate in the garden in a strangely fresh June, last year in Venice – Aman is the centerpiece of this life and so much novel.
In January there is stillness. At sunset of frost and there is silence on the Grand Canal. It seems strange – the still body of water, the distant steamboats, the docked motorboats. Venice in winter, without the Carnival and Christmas. The Aman is a lit fireplace, a card game in the afternoon, a dinner in the calli (alleys in Venice) – breakfast under the white light.