TotoBergamo Rossi

A patron of the arts in Venice, he is the International Relations Adviser of Venetian Heritage, a foundation engaged in safeguarding of the Serenissima's art heritage. He is also the author of "Vivere a Venezia", a non-guide to the city, sestiere by sestiere, based on a photographic itinerary whose main focus is on detail, beauty and art.

Venice, as everyone knows, is marvellous. It’s important to avoid the tourist throng, not easy of course. So my first trip recommendation would be booking the small but delightful hotel called Oltre il giardino. It’s just a block away from the city centre, near by the Chiesa dei Frari, it is a little oasis of peace with only six rooms, and has a beautiful and very romantic garden. Clearly it’s better to book in advance but it’s worth it.

Among the city’s artistic wonders I’d choose the Ca' d'Oro: its façade on the Canal Grande is breath-taking even though I see it everyday, and the museum inside, which few know about has an important art collection including Mantegna’s San Sebastiano. The odd thing is that Ca' d'Oro is right opposite of the Rialto, therefore very central, but somehow it remains isolated. It’s one of those places that allow you to experience Venice as if it’s your home.

From an historical point of view it’s essential to see the jewish ghetto, founded in 1516. Few people know that the word ghetto comes from this very place because there used to be a foundry (geto) here. It is the only intact ghetto in Europe, with five old synagogues and a very important Jewish museum. Moving towards Murano, a place where no one should miss, is the atelier of Carlo and Giovanni Moretti. Opened in 1958, it brings together the antique trade of Murano’s master glassmakers along with contemporary Italian design. They make extremely beautiful glasses, unique ones.

To top it off, last recommendation for a breakfast or a cocktail as it should be enjoyed, a place that few people know; a secret place called the Settimo Cielo Terrace in the Hotel Bauer. It’s one of the highest points of Venice, so there's always a bit of a breeze; it’s never crowded, moreover and the view is breathtaking.