About Me & Venetian Experiences

Iris Loredana, family background from Venice, the Amalfi Coast and South Tyrol. Expert in sustainability and business design. Currently learning about photography. Graduate of WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration) and University of Vienna (linguistics and translation: Italian, English, German and French) with work experience in international business, focussing on sustainability issues and health@work concepts.

I grew up with my Venetian grandparents in a special, cherished home. Currently, I’m living in Venice and Vienna. I love exploring ancient recipes from Venice, Venetian home cooking and spice-flavored food and above all, how know-how from the past may pave a way to the future.

I was lucky to grow up in Grandmother Lina’s wonderful garden, tucked away behind tall brick stone walls. You can make out the church and convent building of San Zaccaria beyond the rambling vines. It sounds like a fairy tale – it really is. It was a paradise garden, twenty years ago even more so than it is today.

Every morning, Grandfather used to spend a couple of hours there, tending his plants, vines, fruit, vegetables and kitchen herbs. How precious such a garden lifestyle is was depicted in the September 1986 edition of Gardenia. My grandfather subscribed to the magazine, so there was always been a copy of glossy Gardenia on the coffee table. I loved its cover pages which usually consist in a hand-drawn picture of lush flowering plants from Italy.

Professional photographers in my family and this lush garden, changing colors all the time but strangely reassuring, inspired me to take pictures too. Capturing the unique light effects of Venice is both easy and a challenge, for they change not just every day but every hour of the day.

As a child, I loved taking pictures with an usa e getta camera. Writing a blog seemed a solution, and a fascinating challenge to share those beautiful secret places in Venice. In June 2012, started La Venessiana’s predecessor blog dedicated exclusively to Venetian gardens,  renamed in 2015 La Venessiana – The Fragrant World of Venice.

La Spezeria – Online from April 2018

Encouraged by friends and visitors who want to learn more about the “other” Venice, in April 2018 we will open our online cooking school La Spezeria. La Venessiana will be extended to comprise a special Venice Travel Coaching Program supported by E-Books and E-Courses. From late April 2018, you can book online Venetian Experiences, pre-made and personalized programs to experience the authentic Venetian lifestyle, supported by and organized with third partners based in Venice (Fairy Tales in Real Venice and Discovering Levantine Venice).

Discover More

It was Venetian merchants, who in addition to spices, silk and other luxury goods introduced exotic plants in the Lagoon. The government of the Republic of Venice ordered merchants to bring back objects “to embellish our city”including plants. Botanical treasures were “collected” and lovingly tended in Venetian gardens. In the 15th century, Venice was the town on earth boasting more than 400 botanical gardens. You can make out these gardens, private, palace and convent gardens, in the famous map of Venice by Jacobo de Barbari”.

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  • I am so pleased to have run across this blog. I am a young, amateur novelist from the U.S. I am currently writing a historical fiction about Venice in the 18th century, right before Napolean. After reading several books on the history of Venice and it’s culture, I fell in love with the idea that a city ruled by the sea should also be renowned for it’s beautiful gardens. I decided to make my main character a gardener, commissioned to work in the city around 1760. I have so many questions and feel like you could really help me create as an authentic picture of Venetian gardens of that time as I possibly can. If you would be willing and/or have the time to talk with me, please e-mail me at the e-mail address I have provided. Your expertise would certainly be much appreciated.

    • Dear Leah, sorry it took me a while in answering as I find your idea very interesting and I wanted to do some research and think about it. The fact is that it was the family, the merchant’s family itself that took care of the gardens, choosing the plants and its layout. There was no profession as there is today, or as there was later during the times of English landscape gardening. So there were the noblemen – who of course commissioned servants with watering the flowers – doing all the daily chores – but the servants had no say in how to create a garden. Then again, there were the monastery gardens, again with the prior and monks or nuns doing the work. Plus – there were architects planning gardens – so you see, the profession of what today is a “gardener” was split amongst various roles – owner, servant, architect … will write to you privately. You can reach me at iris@lavenessiana.com