Venice’s delicate ecosystem is a vital part of the city’s identity and natural heritage.
Ca’ di Dio, a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Venice, has partnered with an initiative dedicated to conserving lagoon life and raising awareness on the significance of the flora and fauna through The Botanical Experience.
This unique travel experience allows guests to see a different side of Venice and feel immersed in the property’s ethos and strong commitment to supporting local communities, preserving Venetian heritage, and practicing sustainable hospitality.
The Botanical Experience
Guests set sail from Ca’ di Dio to the colourful Burano Island and from here, they embark upon the Botanical Experience on Botanist’s Gabriele Bisetto‘s traditional boat called a caorlina. The caorlina has a flat bottom which allows the boat to get close to the island banks and see the flora and fauna more closely.
The route follows the traditional wooden structures called bricole, along the navigable canals from the Bacino di San Marco. After travelling along the San Felice Canal, the boat will enter the heart of the northern lagoon, a silent and highly evocative place where the sandbank plants continuously change.
The lagoon is full of channels, gullies and small channels knowns as ghebi, which branch out in a volute shape between ditches, mudflats, and sandbanks. Gabriele explains how the water rises and falls due to the sun and moon and how the ebb and flow creates the perfect environment for the flora and fauna.
Back at Ca’ di Dio, Chef Raimondo Squeo, who heads up the kitchen, explains how the lagoon inspires the cuisine served at Vero Restaurant. The Venetian dishes are revisited with a modern touch yet respect the seasonality of the ingredients.
Bisetto has worked with the Ca’ di Dio team to help produce a special gin made with salt from the lagoon.
The Importance of Saving Venice
In response to Venice sinking, it was announced in 2017 that authorities banned the opening of new hotels in the historic city centre and to only develop existing properties into tourist accommodation.
Ca’ di Dio takes the importance of preserving the city very seriously and therefore invested in several facilities that limit the environmental impact.
The heat exchanger and cooling system is powered by drawing water directly from the lagoon which leads to an estimated saving of 20% of energy and eliminates around 110 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Ca’ di Dio, Venice has made a commitment to supporting and empowering the local communities that form the vibrant fabric of Venice. By partnering with local artisans, businesses and suppliers, the hotel ensures that guests have access to authentic experiences rooted in the city’s traditions and heritage. Internationally renowned Architect, Patricia Urquiola, recognised the importance of paying homage to local traditions and craftsmanship and therefore selected many decorative and architectural elements from local artisans, including the large chandelier in the lobby which has been made in the LP Glass Factory.
Other collaborations include the partnership with Malefatte Venezia, a brand created by Rio Terà dei Pensieri, a social cooperation which aims to reintegrate prisoners into society. The brand produces sustainable gifts such as organic cotton T-shirts, PVC bags recycled from advertising posters and notebooks covered with wallpaper.
All hotel staff wear Wao Nylong shoes by the Veneto-based company Dress to Live, these are made of econyl, nylon regenerated from waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic.
Ca’ di Dio, Venice offers double rooms from €460 per night, based on two people sharing on a B&B basis. The Botanical Experience starts from €211 per person in a private excursion for up to 8 people.