Palazzo Dandolo is located in Venice’s Castello sestiere, on the bank of Schiavoni – just a stone’s throw from the central Piazza San Marco, icon of the Lagoon, and nestled between the calli that the whole world associates with this extraordinary city.
The building’s façade features gothic echoes that are the most powerful in the six-light window on the first floor and the eight-light window on the second – both carved out of the typical Istria stone, used also for the entrance door.
The palazzo was built in the 14th century for the famous and powerful Dandolo family, who counted no less than four Dogi amongst its members (Enrico, Giovanni, Francesco and Andrea); it was handed down generation after generation, establishing its role as one of the places where rich Venetian families celebrated their holidays and social rites. In 1530, this is indeed where the King of Hungary and Bohemia was elected Holy Roman Emperor.
The building turned into a hotel in 1822, after Giuseppe Dal Niel, known as Danieli, purchased it. In renovating it, architect Tranquillo Orsi gave the structure the neo-gothic style that has charmed visitors from the world over for decades now.
The interiors are a triumph of references to Moorish and Oriental styles, with golden details, Murano glass chandeliers and fine, opulent furniture. The icon of the hotel is a majestic central staircase coming down to the ground floor to welcome guests – some of which are famous to this day: Marcel Proust, Claude Debussy, Charles Dickens, Eugenio Montale, Goethe, Percy Shelley and many more have stayed here.
Today, Hotel Danieli is considered one of the most renowned and luxurious accommodations in the city, selected by many VIPs from politics and show business. Over the years, its spaces have also provided the location for famous movies. “The Tourist” was shot in part inside the splendid Doge Dandolo Royal Suite: the residence of the Doge in the 14th century, renovated by Pierre-Yves Rochon, and now considered one of the 100 most beautiful suites in the world. With chandeliers designed by Archimede Seguso, an original Jacopo Guarana fresco, Rubelli wall coverings, marble surfaces and gold fittings, this was the perfect set for the love story between the two protagonists, played by Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. The long list of movies that were set in part at Hotel Danieli includes scenes for Vittorio de Sica’s last film – “The Voyage” (1974), with Sophia Loren and Richard Burton – as well as a few chapters of the 007 series. Hence the house cocktail is a Vesper Martini, inspired by the leading female role in “Casino Royale”.
By Barbara Palladino
Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Riva degli Schiavoni, Castello 4196
+39 041 5226480