Elegance and tranquility were on the menu, served up with delicious glasses of sparkling Aperol Spritz delicately carressed with orange.
As guests of Baglioni Hotel Luna, my friends and I received the royal treatment with a colorful aperitivo at the bar.
Situated across the lobby from the Canova Resturant, we had the opportunity to enjoy a Bellini cocktail as well made from Prosecco with white peach juice. Each was served with a welcoming smile by our bartender Marco.
Venice’s specialty drink is the Aperol Spritz, done impeccably here. This light, refreshing cocktail is made with Aperol bitters, sparkling Prosecco, and a dash of soda.
I am not an aficionado of cocktails, but I quickly succumbed to the vibrancy and distinct tastes of these drinks. Soon large platters of delicate finger foods arrived, consisting of various sweet and savory breads with toppings of caviar, lox, cream cheese and egg salad.
Baglioni Hotel Luna is a member of Italy’s prestigious luxury five-star Baglioni Hotels Collection and is said to be the oldest hotel in Venice.
Housed in a magnificent, aristocratic Venetian palace, its location has a very interesting historical past. The Knights Templars stayed in a building on Luna’s site in 1118 during the Crusades, and the Venetian archives prove the existence of an “Osteria Luna” in the 13th Century. By the 15th Century, it was known as Locanda della Luna (“The Moonlight Tavern”), and was serving overnight guests.
Today the large elegant rooms of the hotel are filled with antique furniture and original frescos of 18th Century styling. Chandeliers of Murano glass hang in dazzling splendor from the high overhead ceilings, enhancing an ethereal effect.
Marco is one of two chief bartenders for Baglioni Hotel Luna and expertly mixes the drinks while conversing. His professionalism is as impressive as his well-tailored suit.
Pleasing to the eye, tasty finger foods accompany our drinks, each one unique from the other. Italy has produced much of the world’s most exquisite artworks, and their food creations are no exception.
We took our Aperol Spritz outside to the quaint terrace where we enjoyed our conversation with the lovely Rosita Dorigo, Baglioni’s Food and Beverage Consultant. She had kindly arranged our aperitivo and proved to be a charming hostess who expertly put us all at ease. She had us laughing with her colorful stories and expressive descriptions.
A long canal runs up beside the hotel from the lagoon. Many guests arrive by boat or gondola and disembark here at the hotel’s private dock.
From left to right: Victoria DeMaio, Gianmatteo Zampieri, Rosita Dorigo, Margie Miklas, Susan Nelson
Gianmatteo Zampieri, general manager of the Baglioni Hotel Luna, greeted us in the lobby lounge with a big smile. He is engaging and full of historical knowledge of Venice and the Baglioni traditions.
It was a delightful time to be in the presence of such distinguished yet approachable leaders of the Baglioni Hotel Luna. I left them later that day with a realization that I experienced a rare touch of elegance, quality and good will with a big splash of sincere authenticity. A most unusual discovery indeed.
– Susan Nelson
Susan Nelson’s love for Italy began 12 years ago when she took a two week whirlwind tour of this lovely country. Since then she has been back several times only to fall more deeply in love with the culture, history, people and beauty of this country. She has written over 100 posts on her blog, Timeless Italy, and has done guest posts for Boomer Women Travelers among a few other online travel publications. You can most always find her in her home office researching and writing new articles that intrigue her about Italy. Follow Susan on Twitter.
Concierge tip: You still have time to catch All The World’s Futures at the Biennale di Venezia during your next stay at Baglioni Hotel Luna – but hurry as it’s only available until November 22nd 2015.