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Domus Orsoni Bed and Breakfast in Venice, Italy

Lodging for Mosaic Lovers

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Domus Orsoni Bed and Breakfast in Venice, Italy

Domus Orsoni Entrance Hall

James Martin
Domus Orsoni bed and breakfast is a hidden gem in a unique setting in Venice's Cannaregio district. Guest rooms are in the former Orsoni family residence, housed in the same building as the Orsoni mosaic foundry started in 1888. The entryway has beautiful mosaic works on display and each bedroom and bathroom is decorated in mosaics.

Domus Orsoni Rooms

Domus Orsoni has four large double rooms and one single. Each room has a mosaic work by an Italian artist. Bathrooms, all uniquely decorated with mosaics, have either a shower or bath and one room has both. I stayed in the Oro Ramino room with a stunning bathroom and shower done in gold mosaics (see bathroom photo) and a hydro-massage bathtub.

A basic buffet breakfast is served in a small breakfast room from 8:30 to 10:30. Valentina, the hostess, is available to answer your questions and help with information in the mornings but there's no staff in the evenings or at night. Guests are given a map annotated with useful information and restaurant recommendations.

Domus Orsoni Location

Bathroom Mosaic in Domus Orsoni

James Martin
Domus Orsoni is in a pleasant and lively neighborhood of the Cannaregio district (see Venice sestiere map for Cannaregio location), about a ten-minute walk from the train station. It's near the Jewish Ghetto and the Cannaregio canal, Venice's second largest canal. Along the canal are several vaporetto (water bus) stops and the stop for the boat from the Venice airport. A short walk takes you to Strada Nuova, the main walking street along the Grand Canal to the Rialto Bridge and then on to Piazza San Marco.

This neighborhood is one of my favorites in Venice. It's a place where you can get away from the tourist crowds and feel like you're in a real Venice neighborhood. There are small shops and inexpensive bars frequented by locals and a fresh fish vendor sets up shop in the morning by the canal. Take a seat outside next to the canal in the Bar Pontini, where you won't be overcharged for a drink, and enjoy the life passing by.

There are good restaurant options in the Domus Orsoni area. The map given to guests when they check in has several nearby suggestions. I had a good dinner at Ristorante i Quattro Rusteghi in Campo Ghetto Novo, the main square of the Jewish Ghetto.

Orsoni Mosaic Courses

Orsoni offers one and two week Master in Mosaic courses called Living the Venice Workshop. History, theory, and application of mosaic art. Thematic courses in micro-mosaics and portraiture and a 3-day workshop are also offered. Courses have a maximum of six students so there's lots of individual attention. Students have the opportunity to complete their own mosaic works under the tutelage of top mosaic artists from the Orsoni Mosaic Foundry. Those who stay in Domus Orsoni have 24-hour access to the mosaic studio.

More about Orsoni Mosaic Courses and online application.

Orsoni Smalti Veneziana

Mosaic Work on Display in Entry Hall

James Martin
Orsoni is a top producer of smalti (the fused, colored and opaque glass that is eventually cut into tesserae for use in mosaic arts) and the only producers of handcrafted mosaic gold in Venice. Orsoni supplies mosaic tiles for restoration work in Saint Mark's Cathedral, the Vatican, for monasteries being restored in Eastern Europe, and projects all over the world.

All Orsoni employees, from the guys who blow glass in the furnace to the artists who make complete mosaic works are trained at Orsoni. It's a fascinating place and the perfect place to learn more about mosaics.

Here's an inside look at how the gold leaf smalti are made and a few of the mosaic works produced at Orsoni by James Martin, Europe Travel. Mosaics from the Source: Orsoni Smalti Veneziana

Domus Orsoni Information and Reservations

Domus Orsoni Bed and Breakfast
Cannaregio, 1045 (through Sottoportico dei Vedei from Fondamenta Cannaregio)
Reservations on their web site, phone (+39) 041 2759538, or email booking@domusorsoni.it
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.
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