When Gioele Romanelli inherits his birthright, he’ll be the third in the family to own Hotel Flora in Venice. The adjacent property, Casa Flora, on the other hand, already belongs to him. The nine-room albergo is Romanelli’s contemporary answer to his family’s old-school Italian stay. To realize his vision, he enlisted New York-based Italian designer Diego Paccagnella as the hotel’s design director. Paccagnella in turn brought in the bevy of Italian artisans who work with his company, Design Apart. As he says, “A project like Casa Flora cannot be achieved in isolation.” The results are a study in contemporary elegance. Whitewashed walls surround colorful, all-custom furnishings, whose tones echo those of the potted botanicals placed throughout. The scheme is simple, letting the materials speak for themselves: handmade glassware, briar wood doors, palladiana terrazzo tiles. In all, more than 20 Italian craftsmen lent their expertise to the project. The local know-how doesn’t end there. Guests are welcome to arrange meetings with Venetian masters, to receive fittings from a veteran cobbler, or to enjoy meals prepared by a traditional Italian chef. “These professionals are not only extremely good at what they do but they are also great narrators of their art,” says Paccagnella. “They know Venice like few others and can tell little stories about the city’s life.” It’s a rare experience that Casa Flora offers, a temporary taste of a centuries-old cultural heritage.
Rooms available from $648 per night. casafloravenezia.com