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Venice: TravelBytes - Terrazza Danieli, LoCanda Cipriani,Galleria D'Arte L'Occhio

Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

Ah, Venice, still incomparable, ever irresistible.  The superlatives combine in the restaurant on the top floor of the Hotel Danieli, close by Saint Mark's Square and looking out over the Grand Canal just as it empties into the Bay of San Marco. One of Venice's  best dining rooms, the Terrazza Danieli boasts views -- especially from the broad awninged terrace that is on a level with neighboring red-tiled roofs -- that are, literarily as well as  figuratively, over the top.

Listen to the bells. Somehow in Venice there are always bells. Watch the vaporettos as they let passengers off in front of the hotel, the occasional pigeon alighting on the railing. Drink an  Italian wine. The Terrazza Danieli has over 200 varieties, from all over Italy, many from vineyards with small productions of quality grapes that produce wines of great integrity. And sample the delicious creations of Executive Chef Gian Nicola Colucci.

We were there for lunch while at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Dorsoduro across the Canal, an exhibition of Maurice Pendergaest's works was underway. The artist had come to Venice many times, was intrigued with Venetian scenes. The Danieli had partnered with the Guggenheim, having created a package of museum tickets and hotel stays that included a special menu by Chef Daniel Boluchi inspired by the artist's works: potato dumplings in different colors in a black ink sauce, gnocchi with pumpkins, giant prawns, grouper, an arrangement of different dishes in a galaxy of colors. Just a sampling of the outstanding cuisine, the many pastas, excellent seafoods and meat dishes the Terrazza Danieli is known for.

Executive Chef Gian Nicola Colucci - click to enlarge
Executive Chef Gian Nicola Colucci.

We set off for lunch at Locanda Cipriani a day after the lunch at Terrazza Danieli. We must have done something right -how lucky could we be.  Our water taxi wound its way through the Grand Canal to the Laguna de Venezia north of Venice. Out in the open lagoon, it sped across the waters to the island of Torcello where off a canal stood Locana Cipriani, the exquisite small hotel and restaurant created by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of the world-famous Harry's Bar in Venice.

We were only ten kilometers from St Marks Square but in an environ that belied any thought of crowds and clutter. It was a brilliantly beautiful October afternoon, a very early autumnal day in Italy. The outdoor dining terrace overlooked abundant gardens abloom with roses, dahlias, pomegranate trees laden with golden fruits providing a visual experience that was only enhanced by an exceptional dining experience. We drank a deep red Chianti and dined on freshly made pasta, vegetables just picked from the garden, and a selection of grilled fish from the Adriatic.  What a pleasure it was to sit at a table in the sunshine amidst other tables filled with discerning and delighted diners. 

On the way - click to enlarge
  On the way
Crossing the lagoon - click to enlarge
Crossing the lagoon

Dorsoduro, the charming Venetian community of narrow canals and sunlit piazzas on the southernmost side of the Grand Canal, has three world-class museums and many art galleries. Among them is the intimate and welcoming Galleria d'Arte l'Occhio where younger and local artists are featured among the more celebrated. In this latter category is Tobia Ravą whose hypnotic works focus on Hebrew iconography and mystical connections to the Kabbalah.

This terrifc trio of Venetian experiences - - Terrazza Danieli, LoCanda Cipriani, and Galleria D'Arte L'Occhio - -  are -- like the city itself -- singular. They echo the sentiment expressed by Chef Gian Nicola Colucci: "This is a city where you discover the place, the buildings, the landscape. Then you start understanding the people and you come into something you never had. You cannot leave Venice. You can escape but then you come back. It finds a place in your heart."

Crewing on the Laguna de Venezia - click to enlrage
Crewing on the Laguna de Venezia 

We did leave our hearts in Venice. But at the same time, we went on to enjoy a swift, splendid and luxurious transfer from sea level up into the mountains of the Italian Alps via Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services. A scenic drive in what had to be record time brought us to the doorstep of the Dolomites and the next chapter of an Italian adventure.

The way to go via Carey Worldwide Chauffeur Service - click to enlarge
The way to go via Carey Worldwide Chauffeur Service
(only the guy on the left did the driving)


Hotel Danieli
Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196
Comune: 30122 Venice
Provincia: VENEZIA

Phone: +39 041 782714

Locanda Cipriani Piazza
Santa Fosca 29
30142 Torcello, Venezia Italy

Phone: (+39) 041 730150

Galleria d'Arte l'Occhio
Dorsoduro 181, calle San Gregorio

Phone: 041 522 6550

Carey Worldwide Chauffeured Services
Via P. Matteucci 7/9
00154 Rome, Italy

Phone: 39 06 57302021

Maurizio Dolci, General Manager

Photographs by Harvey Frommer

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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