In the heart of Venice. An authentic and original place for a stay in the name of art, courtesy and authenticity. Just a five minute walk from Piazza San Marco and a stone’s throw from the La Fenice Theatre, our Hotel is immersed in art.
In an 18th century Venetian palazzo, the hotel looks out over a small quiet Venetian square. The ideal place to experience the true Venice in absolute tranquillity. As well as our 67 comfortable rooms, you can also choose our Fenice Apartments or the Hotel Piccola Fenice, near the Hotel La Fenice et Des Artistes, perfect for long stays and families.
The story of our hotel goes back to distant 1895. Mr Romanelli and his daughter bought the ancient “Siora Roma” inn, a favourite haunt of seafarers and travellers. One of these, Enrico Zoppi, a handsome sailor from Ancona, remained dazzled by the beauty of Miss Romanelli and in a few months asked for her hand in marriage.
In 1907, Enrico Zoppi officially became the inn’s new owner. Thanks to him, the inn became one of the most famous places in Venice for “revelry and inebriation”, the perfect place for the artists and travellers coming to the city from all over the world.
1910 – 1920S
Over the years, the guests became ever more refined: intellectuals, poets and musicians became the most devoted customers. It was, in fact, one of Italy’s most famous poets, the great Gabriele D’Annunzio, who in 1910 renamed the Zoppi inn “Taverna La Fenice”, today one of Venice’s oldest restaurants.
1925 – 1930S
Numerous artists began asking Mr Zoppi for a place to stay near the La Fenice Theatre after the long singing and dancing rehearsals. And so he decided to convert his tavern into a hotel-home for artists, with a full 25 rooms. The operation was such a success that even the renowned Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello moved there for the entire theatre season in 1926.
1940 – 1950S
The city was not immune to the horrors of the Second World War and Venice became a ghost city. Alas, Emilio Zoppi’s sons, Dino and Bruno, who had taken over from their elderly father, failed in relaunching the family business. Reluctantly they were obliged to put the restaurant up for sale and auction the hotel.
1962 – 1970S
The hotel was reborn in 1962 with the Facchini family. Thanks to their passion and dedication, over the years the hotel managed to regain its ancient prestige and become once again the home of art and artists in Venice.
Anacleto Facchini – the father of the family and a well-known art collector – embellished the bedrooms and other rooms with paintings, objets d’art and statues. The hotel became a miniature art gallery.
Dante Apollonio took over as manager and, as a a great orator, was able to attract the greatest artists of the time to the hotel. Igor Stravinskij, Pavarotti, Fellini, Miles Davis, Maria Callas, Riccardo Muti, Katia Ricciarelli, Robert De Niro, Carla Fracci, and Ugo Tognazzi, to name but a few.
One of the most devoted was Marcello Mastroianni who, whenever he took his leave, said goodbye to Dante with a “ciao brother” and a kiss on the cheek.
The hotel was so famous at the time, it was even chosen as a film set for two famous films shot in Venice: Anonimo Veneziano (The Anonymous Venetian) an Italian film from 1970, and Don’t look now, a well-known American horror film from 1974.
1985 – 2019
Still today, more than 50 years later, the Facchini family – Michele, daughter Eleonora and son Gregory – treasure and preserve the history and tradition of the historic Venetian hotel.
Paintings, autographs and photographs have remained as they were. But the Facchini family have done more than just preserve art, they have also promoted it. From 2000 to 2009, the Hotel in fact organised eight painting competitions in its rooms. The paintings are still displayed today in the hotel’s common areas, rooms and corridors.
The composers, famous TV personalities, actors and dancers who stay with us still appreciate the family and artistic atmosphere. They include, Michail Baryšnikov, Alberto Angela and Toni Servillo.
With dedication, for more than 50 years, the Facchini family has been looking after their guests, day after day making them feel at home and part of a great family, the family of the historic Hotel La Fenice et des Artistes, the home of art and artists in Venice.
In 1997, the New York Times dedicated an entire article to us (click here for PDF), covering our history and capturing all the originality of a place that is more than just a simple hotel. It is at one and the same time home, art, gallery and hotel, in its simplicity, expressing the art of hospitality in the heart of Venice.
Our beautiful suite with magnificent canal view, made unique by the constant passing of typical Venetian gondolas, has a delightful private terrace and comfortable lounge with large sofa and antique writing desk.
The suite can accommodate up to four people and is also ideal for families. It offers TV, safe, telephone and minibar. The private bathroom with bath has a hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, slippers and bathrobes.
Junior Suite for 3 people with view, private bathroom, bedroom with double or twin beds and living room with sofabed. They include TV, safe, telephone, minibar and private bathroom with hair dryer, complimentary toiletries and slippers
Ideal for families, our Family rooms look out over a typical Venetian alleyway and can sleep up to four people. They offer satellite TV including programmes for children, safe, telephone and minibar. The private bathroom, with bath or shower, has a hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.
COMFORT DOUBLE ROOMS WITH TERRACE
With a magnificent view over a typical Venetian canal or charming small Venetian square, these rooms also have a delightful, spacious private terrace where you can enjoy breakfast or sip cool aperitifs. They also include: TV, safe, telephone, minibar and private bathroom with hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, slippers and bathrobes.
CLASSIC DOUBLE ROOMS
Looking out over our charming private garden or a typical small Venetian square, with a view of the canal or the inner courtyard, we can prepare our Classic Double Rooms with either a double bed or twin beds, whichever you prefer. They also include: TV, safe, telephone, minibar and private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.
Luxury apartment in Campo Sant’Angelo, on the first floor of a lovely historic palazzo, but without lift, it can sleep up to 4 guests. The location is highly evocative, a small and very peaceful Venetian square with excellent restaurants where the most frequent visitors are gondolas and curious seagulls.
Staying here means living art in all its forms – notes, paintings, books, photographs and autographs. Guests, artists and travellers appreciate above all the originality and homely atmosphere of our hotel.
Here you can find art in every corner, with more than 200 paintings. These come from the eight painting competitions organised in the hotel by the Facchini family from 2000 to 2008, encouraging artistic talent from all over the world and stimulating the curiosity of guests.
“Over the years, those competitions transformed the hotel. They turned it into a great work of art in continuous transformation”.
Eleonora Facchini, 2016
Each year, those same paintings are moved, change place. Our aspiration? We would like our guests to be surprised every time they stay with us, for each guest to find or rediscover a favourite painting, and then to come across another even more beautiful one the next time they come.
Artists from all times, great names, composers, television personalities, actors and dancers, a great many have stayed here. Igor Stravinskij, Pavarotti, Fellini, Miles Davis, Maria Callas, Riccardo Muti, Katia Ricciarelli, Robert De Niro, Carla Fracci, and Ugo Tognazzi, to name but a few. Our most recent guests include, Michail Baryšnikov, Alberto Angela, and Toni Servillo.
Like a phoenix, our hotel is immersed in legend, history and reality. The legend of the phoenix still lives on today in the operas, symphonies and beauty of the magnificent La Fenice Theatre, just 30 metres from our hotel.
Founded in 1792, the La Fenice Theatre is one of the most famous theatres in the world. Its fine decorations and precious ornaments leave you breathless. The enchanting notes, songs and rehearsals of operas and symphonies can often be heard from our hotel.
What is more, many of the artists performing there – today as yesterday – have become our regular guests, including Maria Callas and Riccardo Muti. Not only the theatre… a second and equally famous phoenix reoccurs throughout our history – the Taverna La Fenice.
The ancient Taverna La Fenice is in fact located on the ground floor of the right wing of the hotel. The elegant tavern, a restaurant until 1860, was named by the famous Gabriele D’Annunzio. Its customers include famous names such as: Toscanini, Strauss, Moravia and Girandot.
It is striking above all for its fascination – an 18th century building, beautiful wrought iron flower boxes, velvet cladding and the authenticity of a historic inn, almost unchanged over time.
WHAT TO SEE
PONTE DEI PUGNI
In the Dorsoduro district of the city, until 1705 the scene of frequent fist fights between the two factions of the city, the Nicolotti and Castellani families. The winner? Whichever of the two challengers managed not to fall into the canal.
SCALA CONTARINI DEL BOVOLO
A beautiful late 15th century spiral staircase near Campo Manin. Nicknamed bovolo, or snail’s shell, it stands 26 metres high. You can visit it by buying a ticket either on site or on Explore Venezia.
LIBRERIA ACQUA ALTA
The most unconventional bookshop in Venice is a place for unusual encounters. Here you will find a tall ladder of books, together with a bath tub brimming with volumes. A truly original place.
SQUERO DI SAN TROVASO
Dating from the 17th century. This magical place resembles a mountain farmstead, but it is actually where they build and repair the typical Venetian gondolas. The name squero comes from the Italian “squadra” or team, the group of skilled carpenters capable of creating such beauty.
PALAZZO GRIMANI AND PALAZZO MOCENIGO
All the more surprising because less known, we highly recommend a visit. In these palazzi you can admire elaborate decorations, fine sculptures, marbles and typical Venetian furniture and décor. You can also discover the customs and ways of the city and the exploits of the Mocenigo and Grimani family who helped mould Venice.
SERRA DEI GIARDINI
Created in 1894 as a glasshouse to accommodate palms and ornamental plants, it is today an enchanting place, ideal for a snack or to read a book, completely surrounded by nature. Pianists can also find an antique piano in a truly special place.
PIAZZA SAN MARCO
Stand near the two columns in Piazza San Marco. Here is their story: during the time of the Serenissima, this is where the capital punishments of hanging or beheading took place. There were originally three columns, but one of the three ended up in the sea while being transported from the Orient to Venice in the 12th century.
Facing the lagoon, from the right hand corner, count up to the fourth column. It will be slightly crooked. It is said that prisoners condemned to death during the time of the Serenissima could earn their salvation if they managed to go round the column without ever touching the grey stones with their feet.
Simply magnificent. Just looking at it is enough to put you in a good mood. It is, in fact, the most colourful island of Venice. The perfect place to take the most beautiful photo in your album of Venetian memories.