Venice, one of the world’s premier travel destinations, is home to a new and unique luxury accommodation with the restoration of a charming 16th century villa by The Bauers owner and CEO, Francesca Bortolotto Possati. This abandoned, regal property was once one of Venice’s chicest addresses that had served as a residence to a number of noble Italian families. The property was incredibly popular in the early part of the 20th century when it was an upscale pensione, called Pensione Frollo. This pensione catered to an eclectic clientele of painters, writers, and actors including Gabriele D’Annunzio, Eleonora Duse and Mabel Holland.
Francesca, a native Venetian herself, always strives to preserve the cultural and historical livelihood of her city and in this spirit became passionate about reviving this neglected property on Venice’s Giudecca Island, just a short five-minute boat ride across the Grand Canal from sister property, the exclusive Bauers Il Palazzo, located next to St Mark’s Square.
A year ago, after a long period of restoration, Francesca opened Villa F. This villa, separated into private residences, gives birth to a new and much needed way of living in Venice. Guest residents of Villa F feel very much a part of the city’s daily dynamic, as the property represents a true reflection of Venetian life.
Villa F is a 16th century noble residence and an icon to Italy’s golden creative ages. With 11 individual apartment-style accommodations and a three-acre garden the villa is a unique invitation to walk the echoes of Venice’s illustrious former inhabitants and is an ideal solution for those seeking privacy and independence.
Each residence features living room spaces and quaint mini-kitchens that provide guests with a home away from home and allow them to experience Venice as a true Venetian. The accommodations of Villa F are also ideal for families seeking more space and an escape from the run-of-the-mill hotel offering.
“Working 365 days a year and often two or three turns a day, without ever closing to guests,” explains Francesca, “over 350 workmen have contributed to a job which has varied from the excavation of the antique foundations to create a modern and ecologically correct sewage system as well as building barriers from the Venetian high waters to the completed modernisation of every contemporary amenity desierable for our guests.
“Kilometres of electrical cables and piping have been brought in by boat from the mainland to complete the new technological systems and three cranes were mounted simultaneously to raise huge volumes of Italian marble, European wood and precious plaster cornices – not to mention the modern gym equipment for the spa.
“1000 artisans – decorators, glass blowers, painters, mill workers, upholsters, electricians, plumbers etc – have been working in a tempest of building materials, prized woods, stuccoes, Venetian ‘marmorino’, Italian marble, excquisite Venetian glass and fabrics from the oldest and world-famous Venetian tradition.”
With this new property, the Bauers Group offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience Venice as their home rather than as a ‘hit and run destination’. The soul of the city lies beyond the perimeters of St Mark’s Square and outside of the commercial routes jam-packed with tourists. It is waiting to be discovered, savoured and cherished with calm and persistence of a good wine.
Villa F is just steps away from the Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa. Guests can visit Palladio to dine at the Palladio Bar & Restaurant and book treatments and massages at the spa. Using the Bauers’ private, solar-powered shuttle boat, the BMare, guests will also be able to travel across the Grand Canal throughout the day to dine at the Il Palazzo’s restaurant, De Pisis.
“Venice is a constant challenge to your sensitivity and imagination – impossible to capture completely,” declares Francesca. “Regardless of how well you know Venice, you can always discover, just by walking around, something new that you have not noticed before.”