Visit Venezia with Toto Bergamo Rossi

4 August 2023
Written by
Sara Magro

Ideas for a cultural weekend

Toto Bergamo Rossi is a true venetian. He is an architect specialised in restoration projects as well as being the General Manager of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, an international non-profit organisation based in Venice and New York. The foundation works within the framework of the joint Unesco-Private International Committees Programme for Safeguarding the city.

Describe Italy in a few words?
The best country in the entire world… unfortunately poorly managed.

Why Venice?
Because I was born here and it has always been in my best interest to preserve it, enhance its beauty and try to keep it alive. I have been the Director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation for 13 years and our purpose has been to pursue these intentions.

A must visit?
The Palazzo Grimani museum.

A stolen secret?
The Church of San Giobbe in the Cannaregio district, an example of the early Venetian Renaissance and not really on the radar for many people.

An unmissable excursion?
To visit Villa Foscari, also known as La Malcontenta, only 15 minutes from Venice by car. WEBSITE

The best moment of the day to…?
Visit Piazza San Marco is just before lunchtime during the second or third week of January, it’s breathtakingly empty.

A relaxing moment?
Take a boat and head towards the island of Pellestrina. Enjoy a long walk on the beach and excellent Grancevola at the Da Nane restaurant.

A special experience?
Visit the Basilica of San Marco after 7pm behind closed doors by booking here.

The essence of Venezia?
The ground floor of the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery at the Ca’ d’Oro, a state museum currently undergoing restoration with the support of the Venetian Heritage Foundation.

That memorable evening?
Taking a boat through the canals of Cannaregio stopping for “bacari” between a glass – or as the Venetians say “un ombra” – of wine and cicchetti.

An unforgettable dish?
The ravioli del Doge at the Tre Fanti Restaurant in Rio Marin. WEBSITE

The most beautiful landscape?
From the bell tower of the Basilica of San Giorgio on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The souvenir?
Glassware from Micheluzzi Glass. WEBSITE

A must drink?
Bellini. Iconic at Harry’s Bar.

What to pack for the weekend?
Lots of neatly pressed and folded shirts with long pants, no shorts.

Sun-splashed beach?
The beach of the Excelsior hotel with the magnificent huts designed by Ignazio Gardella in 1969.

Favourite stays?
There are two: the first Oltre il Giardino has only 12 rooms and is located in what was once the Venetian residence of Alma Mahler; the second, The Venice Venice Hotel, recently opened in one of the oldest buildings in the city.

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