architecture exterior VENISSA Wine Resort
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Venissa Wine Resort, Venice. A hortus conclusus in the lagoon

The Bisol family’s rural farmstead in Burano has become the Venissa Wine Resort with five rooms, two restaurants, and a pergola

Within the walls of an 18th century hortus conclusus constructed in proximity of the bell tower on the island of Burano in the Venetian Lagoon, Gianluca Bisol planted the varietal from Torcello on a two-hectare plot of land. “We were looking for soil that was suitable for this small vine branch that had managed to survive even the 1966 flood, which poisoned farms with salt water,” says Matteo, Gianluca’s son and director of the Tenusa estate in Mazzorbo. The Bisols won the municipal call and acquired this piece of abandoned countryside with a project for a vineyard that immediately flourished: Venissa Wine Resort.

The rural farmstead has become a hotel with five rooms, two restaurants, and a pergola under which Venetian cicchettiand a Laguna white are served – or some of the surviving Dorona, in golden-labelled half-litre bottles (dorona is an ancient indigenous Venetian varietal with yellow berries cultivated in the area of the lagoon since the fifteenth century, of which all traces had been lost until its rediscovery in this millennium, Ed.). At the beginning, Venissa Wine Resort was a very simple hostel. Matteo and Veronica, still in their early twenties, got married there and lived there for two years, transforming the agricultural project into a resort. The restaurant has earned a Michelin star.

Burano is a nice place to stay, even though it has few attractions – aside from the piazza, the home of hermit-sculptor Remigio Barbaro, the lace shops, and the Trattoria al Gatto Nero. The Bisols also purchased and renovated several homes in the medieval town centre to create an albergo diffuso (casaburano.it) and have decided not to close during the winter season, even though guests are few. “If no one comes,” says Matteo, “we’re telling the wrong story, because the Lagoon is beautiful in any season – even more so when there are no mosquitoes,” he jokes.

The Bisol’s interest extends across the entire island and can be enjoyed with a ride on a fishing boat or with lessons in Venetian rowing, where more than rowing one chats about glorious regattas. Or have a picnic in the garden in Torcello and enjoy a spritz at the Locanda Cipriani.

On another island nearby which they have recently acquired, the Bisols will create the Venissa farm, with goats and barnyard animals, as well as other varietals and vegetable gardens and a restaurant in the equipment warehouse. It’s still just on paper, but everything indicates that it will happen – the Bisols have sold land in Valdobbiadene in order to dedicate themselves to this piece of land in Dorona and another in Venusa, which is also the name of the other wine that they produce, along with jams, compotes, and artisan beer.

Text Sara Magro


Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3

Venice, Italy

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