This New Boutique Hotel in Venice Connects You to the City’s Best Artisans

Set in a quiet square in the heart of Venice, Violino d’Oro showcases local craftsmanship.

A white and gray seating area at Violino d'Oro in Venice, with arched windows, small chandelier, and canal views

A seating area at Violino d’Oro hotel in Venice

Courtesy of Violino d’Oro


The vibe: A boutique hotel dedicated to Italian artisans in the heart of Venice

Location: Piazza San Marco 2091, Venice, Italy| View on Google Maps

Loyalty program: Leaders Club (Leading Hotels of the World)

Book now: Website



The AFAR take

Violino d’Oro is the first Venice outpost for Tuscan luxury brand Collezione Em, the family-owned five-star hospitality group with the beach hideaway Villa Roma Imperiale in Forte dei Marmi, a favorite among the glitterati. The 32-room boutique hotel celebrates Italy’s artistic and artisan legacy at every turn, whether you’re walking across the hand-placed Venetian seminato terrazzo flooring or standing under the Venini chandeliers.

“Violino d’Oro was created as a home,” says co-owner Sara Maestrelli. “Every fabric, piece of furniture, and glass was crafted in Italy, made from superior natural materials and designed to outlast time and trend.” Sara, co-owner Elena Maestrelli, and architect Piera Tempesti Benelli have infused every corner of Violino with Italian craftsmanship from the custom designed furniture and handcrafted stucco walls to the pillows covered in Rubelli fabrics, Micheluzzi glass, Fortuny fabrics, antiques, midcentury design pieces, and contemporary art.

Left: a crimson couch with gold pillows under a glass chandelier. Right: a green bucolic scene on wallpaper of a guest room.

Violino d’Oro is filled with design details created by Italian artisans.

Courtesy of Violino d’Oro

Who’s it for?

Art lovers and design buffs who appreciate Italian artisan heritage. Violino d’Oro’s small size and secluded setting in a quiet square is perfect for couples and individuals looking for a tranquil but chic home away from home. Violino d’Oro’s suites and connecting rooms are also ideal for friend getaways and families. Its central location is perfect for those who want to be in the thick of Venice’s art scene; it is within close walking distance of the Biennale Giardini, as well as Basilica San Marco, Museo Correr, Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, and La Fenice Opera House.

The location

Set within the heart of Venice, Violino d’Oro is a short walk from Piazza San Marco and Campo Santo Stefano, as well as the Accademia bridge (or traghetto) to Sestiere Dorsoduro. Venice’s Sestiere San Marco is one of the island’s busiest neighborhoods, but Violino d’Oro sits in a quiet square by Ponte San Moisè and Calle Larga XXII Marzo, the city’s high street for luxury shopping. The hotel’s canal-side location has its own private water entrance for surreptitious entrances and quick exits by private boat.

The 32-room boutique hotel celebrates Italy’s artistic and artisan legacy at every turn.

The rooms

The 32 guest rooms and suites are spread out across three palazzi and are larger than most rooms in Venice. Each room is decorated in a rich dark green or luminous beige with warm wood floors and spacious closets; they feature spacious modern bathrooms stocked with amenities from Sicilian soap and fragrance brand Ortigia. Room details traverse local design history. There’s Venetian broccati by Rubelli covering sofas, pillows, headboards, and curtains, which are juxtaposed by custom-designed midcentury styled furniture and contemporary Chinoiserie-inspired wardrobes and connecting doors.

The food and drink

Just off reception is the cozy Il Piccolo Bar and lounge where master bartender Francesco Adragna mixes up magical cocktails like the Doge’s Fizz (with Venetian gin), served with olives and a selection of cicchetti, Venice’s version of tapas-like plates. Through the lobby and in the back courtyard Corte Barrozzi (where you’ll find a historic well) is Il Piccolo Ristorante, a dining area styled as a private salon with handcrafted floral stucco walls, Rubelli cushions, and Ginori flatware. Il Piccolo’s menu is nouveau Italian with a focus on local vegetables, lagoon-caught fish, and Venetian dishes.

A white guest room at Violino d'Oro, with dark wood floors, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and an ornate gilt mirror on the wall

A guest room at Violino d’Oro

Courtesy of Violino d’Oro

Staff and service

The warm members of the Violino team quickly become your friends, from the moment the porter Maurizio greets you at the dock. General manager Annabella Cariello and the front desk team are sempre disponible, always available in presence as well as in heart. Immersive staff-led excursions include visits to secret gardens and tours to nearby islands. While enjoying a cocktail, keep an eye open for owner Sara and ask her about the artisans. She can introduce you to local talent, including the Micheluzzi sisters of the famed glassware, or organize behind-the-scene visits to the ateliers of such iconic companies as Rubelli.


Navigating Venice and its millennium-old palaces poses mobility challenges. With that in mind, Violino d’Oro has two wheelchair-accessible executive rooms and ensures accessibility in all of its public spaces with two elevators, navigational ramps, and accessible doorways. Additionally, Violino offers use of a wheelchair and stroller as well as “un amico veneziano,” a team member who can accompany guests and offer mobility support when they’re exploring the city.

A seating area at Violino d'Oro, with a white couch flanked by lamps and paintings in ornate gilt frames, plus window with view of canal

Violino d’Oro has views out to the canal from many parts of the hotel.

Courtesy of Violino d’Oro

Staying active

There is no spa or gym, but as Annabella aptly says, “Venice was made to be explored.” Together with Sara, she has designed a menu of active adventures to get the heartbeat up and quench your curiosity, from guided cultural running tours to yoga on the harbor.

Erica Firpo is a journalist with a passion for art, culture, travel, and lifestyle. She has written and edited more than 20 books, and her travel writing has appeared in Yahoo Travel, Discovery Magazine, BBC Travel, the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Fathom, Forbes Travel, and Huffington Post.
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