Friday, February 9, 2018

A neo-classical gem in Venice, Lorenzo Santi's coffeehouse

While many people may not associate Venice with neoclassical architecture one of my favorite buildings in that style happens to be located in the most prominent section of Venice, just off St Marks square directly on the Grand Canal.
One foggy morning I woke up early and caught the vaporetto from our apartment across the canal to see the building without the surrounding hoards of tourists.
The building has sat vacant for years as it's not considered important by the Italians -too 'new'.  These interior photos are part of the documentation (not my own) of a long planned restoration of the pavilion as well as the adjacent royal gardens (more about that HERE).  
Finished in 1817 by the architect Lorenzo Santi it has been known as the Padiglione (pavilion) Santi ever since.  Googlemaps however seems to call it the Palazzina Selva.  
The pavilion was built as a coffeehouse much like Cafe Florian which is directly behind.  Once renovated the plan is to return it to a coffeehouse.  With its prime location I anticipate it becoming extremely popular.
 I love the delicately carved marble frieze.
Lovely view, not mine, taken from the Grand canal. You can see it sits directly adjacent to the busy San Marco vaporetto stop. 
 I hope by my next trip to Venice I'll be able to have an espresso in my favorite building!
While we're in the general area I thought I would share a few of my early morning foggy photos of an empty Palazzo San Marco.
The fog was so thick one could barely see to the end of the loggia - see the cleaning crew in fluorescent yellow at the far end?
I think my snapshots show that Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
There are benefits to waking up early; having the square to oneself (with just the scourge of  pigeons).
 I literally felt their wings on my cheek as they flew overhead.
 At one end of the square is the namesake St Mark's Basilica.
As always, click the photos to view larger on your screen.

6 comments:

Stephilius said...

Oh, I love it! Exquisite, charming....

Hels said...

I love that Santi Pavilion was small, with gorgeous neo-classical design and being used as a coffee shop from the very beginning. Even the date, 1817, is spot on. But do we know if the architect Lorenzo Santi saw the growth of very popular winter gardens in other countries and decided to Italianise the concept?

I would still be excited to have my cake and coffee in a glass-filled pavilion, looking out into beautiful gardens.

Hels
https://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/what-wasis-winter-garden.html

Parnassus said...

Your photographs of the elegant buildings in the mist are very evocative. As for the coffeeshop building, in Cleveland or Taipei it would probably be torn down and replaced by some monstrosity. To be fair, many cities don't have the type of activity concentration which allows for the building of tourist or entertainment districts, but what they don't understand is that by razing or wasting buildings like this one, such districts can never get a foothold.
--Jim

littleaugury said...

The photographs are beautiful! pgt

Daniel James Shigo said...

Beautiful Post

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

The gardens he designed are conceptually some of my favourites... Love the early morning light and fog.