Venice, Italy
Luxury Real Estate

Venice International Film Festival: 3 Homes in La Serenissima

In honor of the 80th annual Venice International Film Festival, Luxury Defined spotlights a collection of homes in the Floating City

In its 80th year, the International Venice Film Festival is the oldest of the “Big Five” (with Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, and Toronto), and its Golden Lion, for best film, is one of cinema’s most prestigious awards.  

Over the last eight decades, the Golden Lion has recognized films of all genres, many of which became revered classics: Rashomon, Belle de Jour, The Battle of Algiers, Last Year at Marienbad, Atlantic City, and Gloria. The octogenarian shows no sign of slowing down. 

Major screenings play in the 1,400-seat theater of the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido de Venezia, a barrier island in the Venice Lagoon. After the end credits roll, though, the star attraction remains: The ancient canal city itself, La Serenissima (Most Serene).  

To honor the festival, we present luxury homes in the heart of Venice, each of them worthy of the limelight and the red carpet.  

1. Palazzo Dario  

Palazzo in Venice, Italy
This magnificent 15th-century Gothic palace on the Grand Canal is the subject of Claude Monet’s 1908 oil on canvas Venice, Palazzo Dario.

Timeless, yet of its time, Palazzo Dario sits in jewel-like splendor on the most prestigious part of the Grand Canal, between the Ponte dell’Accademia bridge, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, and the San Marco Basin. 

For more than 500 years, this magnificent Gothic palace has been a landmark in Venice’s prestigious Dorsoduro sestiere. Built circa 1479, the palace was restored in 1487 by Italian Renaissance sculptor and architect Pietro Lombardo. The four-story structure is distinguished by its Grand Canal-front façade, which has been the subject of notable art and literary works over the centuries. 

The beautiful circular polychrome and Pietra d’Istria marble inlays, oculi, and wall veils appear in John Ruskin’s book The Stones of Venice: “It exemplifies the style of ‘Renaissance engrafted on Byzantine,’” he wrote. 

The ground level, accessed via the canal and the garden, rises to two piano-noble floors and a penthouse floor housing the private quarters. 

Palazzo in Venice, Italy
This apartment overlooking the Grand Canal is defined by museum-quality murals and frescoes by Italian Old Masters Giovanni Scajario, Jacopo Guarana, Francesco Zugno, and Giustino Menescardi.

This stately residence occupies the first floor of a 14th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal in the historic sestiere of Cannaregio, steps from Venezia Santa railway station. 

Built in the Gothic style with Renaissance additions, the building retains its ornate period details inside and out.

The museum-quality interiors feature several murals and frescoes by Italian Old Masters Giovanni Scajario, Jacopo Guarana, Francesco Zugno, and Giustino Menescardi. The pièce de résistance is the double-height entrance hall with frescoes painted between 1760 and 1764 by Baroque artist Giustino Menescardi. 

The palazzo’s three floors extend to more than 4,600 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The reception hall opens to two grandly appointed reception rooms and the main suite, with its ornate plasterwork ceiling and brocaded walls, and a balcony with a showstopping view of the Grand Canal.

The grand formal dining room is served by a thoroughly refitted, modern kitchen.  

Palazzo in Venice, Italy
This magisterial building, once home to the 114th Doge of Venice, offers vast, light-filled rooms for an elegant, ducal lifestyle.

This opulent Venetian palazzo is tucked away in a quiet nook of Venice’s populous Cannaregio sestiere, known for its thriving bar and restaurant scene. 

Built in the 1300s, the four-story residence was owned by the 114th Doge of Venice, Alvise Pisani (1664–1741) and its grandeur is evident throughout the 26,909-square-foot interior.

There are two magnificent piano nobile (main) floors with double-height ceilings over Venetian terrazzo and parquet flooring.   

The focal point of the main reception room is a quadrifora (four light-windows), opening to an expansive terrace above the canal. 

The mezzanine level comprises several offices and suites, with fixtures and finishes upgraded to contemporary standards. There is also a ground floor with ample storage space and an attic (in need of restoration).

Outside, there is a private courtyard and a traditional altana roof terrace, and discreet water access to the canal. 

Searching for a palazzo in La Serenissima? Explore our collection here.