Venice: an insider’s view. A day with a contemporary merchant, with roots from long ago.
Between gestures and words, as Vettor speaks or just listens, a thousand years of history of his Venetian family filter through. In the lagoon, the Marcello lineage has passed through the hallways of power, with ancestors including two Doges and a writer-composer, Benedetto by name, born in the seventeenth century.
Our Vettor grew up in Verona and Venice, and lived in a third city that left an imprint, during his university years.
That city, where he studied engineering, was Florence: “A search for beauty”, almost obligatory when one grows up in a floating concert hall.
All this complemented by the family legacy, a mostly mercantile heritage of a dynasty built on sea routes and textiles imported from the Near East, with a feeling for the market that guides Vettor’s professional life today. Having returned to Venice to live, with his wife Giulia, the scion of the Marcello family established his corporate strategy consulting firm there, specializing in foreign firms interested in the Italian market.
The mercantile vein flows, fed by investments and development, while the other conduit, where the sense of beauty lies, has found concrete expression in a company, funded by him and some childhood friends: a group project, propelled by a shared passion for art, aptly named Artitude: “We purchase contemporary artwork, which we divide amongst ourselves – they keep theirs in their homes, I don’t because then I would find them hard to part with – and resell when the market calls for it”.
There is a third passion, for history: “An interesting perspective on the present”. Thoughts flit from the concrete to the abstract, from the past to the present, from the allure of beauty to the precision of fact. It is much like the movement of the water of the lagoon in Venice, the agile maneuvering of a mercantile spirit and the flow of reasoning of a consultant who looks out on the contemporary scene with a nineteenth century eye, whose lifestyle we are about to delve into by way of addresses and details.
A Saturday in Venice
Food shopping at the Rialto, in the outdoor fish market under the Loggia del Sansovino, a daily ritual for the city’s inhabitants, unchanged for 500 years and still full of life.
Aperitif at the Arco, two alleys away. Prosecco and cicchetti, little toasted crusts of bread, with specials of the day, like a branzino tartare, for instance.
Lunch in campo Santo Stefano, at an outdoor table, il Beccafico a recommended choice for the
calamarata seafood pasta, or Il Cantinone Già Schiavi in Dorsoduro, with a great wine selection.
In the afternoon, a stroll on the Isola di San Giorgio, with a stop at the Fondazione Cini for an exhibit of hand blown glass.
A ferry ride to Murano to learn more about the subject, where the glassblowers still ply their trade, and then dinner at the Gatto Nero, a restaurant in Burano where I recommend the fried fish with polenta.
Or else, for a dose of culture, the Lace Museum, in Burano, which tells the story of Venice and its lagoon through the historical trade of the local lace makers.
− I feel elegant: when I wear a blazer.
− My dream outfit: if I could, I’d live in shirttails, with deck shoes.
− The best gift ever: Sgargi, a little skiff our friends gave us as a wedding gift.
− In the suitcase: iPad and headphones.
− Music: everything, I listen to the radio a lot, too, even some history.
− Interior Decor: putting together the things I like without a particular style. I love lamps and spotlights, here and there in the rooms.
− Favorite book: Canale Mussolini, by Pennacchi: it’s a snapshot of a cross-section of society in the last century. A very emotional book, dealing with history, one of my interests, and the manipulation of human values.
− Favorite film: “The Godfather”, for the same reasons, the interest in a family saga where values become distorted in their application.
− Fear: wasting time.
− Never: be insincere or inconsiderate. Two forms of inelegance.
− Always: look to the future.
− Always on: lace-up leather shoes, light blue shirt and a loden wool coat in the wintertime.
− Always in Venice: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
− Favorite App: Podcasts, I listen to history and current events to think about how things happened in the past.
− I feel elegant: in a silk shirt.
− My dream outfit: a t-shirt and jeans.
− The best gift ever: Sgargi, the little skiff our dearest friends gave us as a wedding gift.
− In the suitcase: sneakers.
− Music: always and only dance music: rock, electropop and dance… a little bit of everything, as long as it’s upbeat and makes you want to move.
− Interior Decor: a mix of modern and antiques.
− Favorite book: Emma, by Jane Austen, because I’m a fan of hers, a romantic at heart.
− Favorite film: Manhattan, by Woody Allen, I love the mood of NY of that period.
− Fear: of solitude, more than anything.
− Never: without mascara.
− Always: happy and smiling.
− Favorite App: Spotify.
− Three “special” spots in Venice:
Harris Dolci, in the Giudecca neighborhood. A restaurant with an unbeatable location and view, on the Giudecca canal. A delicate menu, the risotto with cardoons is fabulous.
A cocktail mixed by Gennaro, the barista at the Taverna la Fenice, a real artist!
l'Ottico Fabbricatore, a women’s clothing and accessories shop, very small and very interesting, near San Luca.