Today I would like to take you up on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Basilica della Salute. As you can see in the big picture above, you’re even looking down upon its orecchioni, architectonalical ear-shaped elements at the base of the dome.
I’ve always loved discovering rooftop views on Venice. My father, an architect, used to take me up on top of everything. Campanili and altane – that’s how we call the roof terraces in Venice. In the late 1980s, he even took me to see Torre dell’ Orologio at a time when it was still open for any visitor.
This time our friend Giuseppe took us up on the roof terrace of Hotel Europa e Regina, one of the luxury hotels lining the Grand Canal from the Bocca di Piazza to Campo Santa Maria del Giglio.
It’s no co-incidence that these buildings were turned into hotels. They’ve got an ancient tradition of being precisely that. First was Hotel Luna, originally built by the Templars in 849 AD, followed by Palazzo Selvadego and the Ridotto building which today is called Hotel Monaco e Gran Canal. In the 9th century, this area was part of the broli, cultivated areas around Venetian convents with orchards, herb and vegetable gardens and vineyards. In our case, we’re on the brolo that until 1149 belonged to the convent of San Moisé.
I love rooftops for their view of the whole. From up here, on this sprawling sixth-floor roof terrace you can better understand the vocation of the Lagoon.
This is NOT a wasteless area stretching around Venice but a vital part enabling her existence. Each island in the Lagoon has a precise role to fulfill. Each influenced the food Venetians were able to grow due to soil and salinity conditions which change from one island to another in our 550 km² Lagoon.
I had never seen Venice from one of these hotels along the Canal Grande before. But here it is and it has a special climate of its own. It must be a wonderful experience to wake up in this room and enjoy breakfast on the terrace later in spring !!
When you step out on the terrace, you’re in for a surprise for the buildings seem much nearer and so impressive when you watch them from above. The weather wasn’t ideal yet the view was unique, the buildings’ mole made up for the lack of sun with ease.
The terrace looks both south to the southern Lagoon and beyond to the open sea but also east towards Palazzo Grimani and the San Samuele area.