Hello – I’m Ann-Marie Doyle, the owner and director of both Venetian Apartments Venice Prestige for rentals and Venice Sothebys Realty for sales…. I live in London but deal only with Venice — challenging! But it’s completely intentional – living in London actually helps me to keep focused on what is the very best property wise in Venice… and on what is going to appeal to our international clients, who want to own a part of the city and its history, maybe just for a weekend, a week, or forever…
I have worked with Venice property for around 28 years so I suppose there really isn’t much I haven’t seen, but the city will always be fascinating to me – I still peer out of the airplane window to catch a glimpse of the lagoon as if for the first time, I marvel at the view when I cross the Grand Canal over the Accademia Bridge early in the morning, the amazing light, and I also love the dark quiet streets at night. Venice is a multi layered and multi faceted place…..
So maybe you would be interested to have an insight into Venice and the world of property? here is my new blog….
Arrived in Venice last night and had a wonderful dinner with friends at Da Ivo…
no sign of George Clooney sadly, but I suppose he can’t eat there all the time! it really is like your favourite private dining room…. the waiters are all lovely and Giovanni the owner is wonderful — feels like going home…the perfect place on a cold February night….
Waking up this morning in the beautiful bedroom of the Longhi apartment at Palazzo Molin is heaven – gazing up at the 6 metre high ceilings, a soft milky light peeping through the muslin drapes, and with the occasional sound of a boat’s engine reminding me where I am – definitely not London! Palazzo Molin really is a divine place to stay – thick palazzo walls hiding the most fabulous contemporary interior…utter luxury and a great feeling of peace and calm… fab facilities that everyone wants now… but in an historic palazzo setting. We have already sold over half the apartments here (www.palazzomolin.com) and the rest are likely to sell this spring. Some people just want second (or third homes) here while others like to let when they are not here….it’s very private and a complete oasis of calm
Longhi Palazzo Molin San Marco
Longhi Palazzo Molin San Marco
Am staying here to check on the new apartments we have just taken on for rental and which are just amazing… Guardi is a huge duplex with a main salon, 2 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and is SPECTACULAR – ultra Italian design by Georgetti and Minotti with some fun additions… Canaletto from the same owners is on the ground floor with a double bedroom and 2 amazing bathrooms — quite funky and with french doors directly on to the courtyard…
Guardi Palazzo Molin San Marco
Canaletto Palazzo Molin San Marco
So..now planning my day – appointments to follow up / people to meet …
My assistant has told me about an owner who has been recommended to us (a very sophisticated French lady I hear) who has the most amazing apartment which she would like to let from time to time and would like me to take a look – its in the same palazzo as a fabulous apartment we let already so am interested to see that – will try to fit it in to my schedule and will report back!
Yesterday I had a long phone conversation with some French clients looking for a Grand Canal property to buy – I had sent them pictures of a place in just the location they want but they have just replied that it isn’t ‘shabby chic’ enough and they think it has been restored too much. It’s actually very lovely and well preserved but not much merit in me arguing the point – the customer is always right, so back to the drawing board…. I have something else in mind to show them, but generally it’s true that its getting harder to find unrestored properties here sadly, and I do understand what they are hoping to find. Thank goodness I speak French…
First morning here, so out for breakfast – I want to take a quick look from the outside at a whole building we have been offered for sale and am seeing with the owners tomorrow – I like to be prepared, and it’s right by the cafe that in my opinion has the best brioches in Venice, so as usual you can kill two birds with one stone foodwise here…you have to! It looks like an amazing building but am worried that the position might be just too ‘busy’ for our clients — which limits its ‘destination’ and resale value… will see. If it’s not something I think would be right for our end clients then it’s not worth me dedicating too much time to this…
This afternoon I am going to see a beautiful property I recently sold to some London architect clients – Palazzo Grimani San Marco
Palazzo Grimani San Marco
Palazzo Grimani San Marco
It’s a fabulous property whose restoration I am going to follow in my blog – it’s the most amazing piano nobile of a palazzo right across the campo from the Gritti – it literally hasn’t been touched for years and is like a mini Versailles inside … the owners (the London based John Simpson Architects) have only just completed on the sale but have already started the careful restoration work – they are working with local architects and restorers to create a stunning interior aimed at the very top end of the sophisticated rental market – I am happy to help them with this in an advisory role..
I was amazed to see what they have already uncovered – painstaking restoration work on a freezing cold afternoon — but such bliss for me to be there and to meet the main restorer Giuseppe – he told us that thanks to the decorating additions over the years (painting over ancient doors with white paint!) the delicate stucco work has been very well preserved… and with the amazing delicate colours of the 18th century intact …unbelievable
I say goodbye as I can’t stand the cold any more but am looking forward to checking on progress and will report back in a few weeks
Having dinner at home – heaven to be on your own at home after a long day – managed to make Tagliatelle with salsa di pomodoro and radicchio rosso – an achievement!
Italian TV pretty dire so sleep calls…
This is going to be a very full-on day – meeting the owners of the divine Palazzo Garzoni e Moro San Marco this morning to discuss a possible Art exhibition this year at the palazzo — this is something we at Sotheby’s Realty love to do as Venetian historic palaces are a natural home for contemporary art. Garzoni e Moro is a lovely palazzo development — with 8 very beautifully done apartments with truly stunning marble bathrooms and with a show apartment by Rubelli/ Venini/ Arc Linea (www.venicesothebysrealty.com/garzonimoro). The location is perfect too, super central yet tucked away and a few yards from the Grand Canal traghetto.
Then to see the whole building for commercial use – yes it’s really interesting — not ‘vincolato’ which means that it’s not subject to the Sovraintendenza (most historic buildings are, which makes development so much more challenging). This will make the restoration so much easier, but the problem is the valuation — the sellers want a lot of money for it but our potential developers will have to be sure that they will cover their costs comfortably and make a profit…hmm! Will have to think about this one…
I am going to be meeting Sandrina Rubelli for coffee later at the Gritti and to chat over this and other projects – Sandrina is multi-lingual and multi talented – I love spending time with her to chat about design and being allowed to pore over all those truly wonderful fabrics. Joy! Rubelli is an historic Venetian fabric house but they also now offer a full design service combining historic sources with a contemporary theme…a perfect match for our busy clients who want to create a stunning but ultimately liveable home in Venice….
Out again this evening – this time for dinner to the wonderful Osteria San Marco in the Frezzeria. There are so many great restaurants opening now in Venice – this place is ultra cool and the food amazing. Thank goodness I only have to go around the corner to get home..
My first appointment today is to see the ‘French lady’s apartment’ — beautiful! very dark rich fabrics, full of atmosphere, and with a divine terrace. The problem, as so often happens, is that foreign owners want to use their apartments at the same time as other people do, i.e. mainly spring and autumn, but we agree that we will play it by ear as it will be a great add-on apartment to the very beautiful apartment we let on the next floor, a good compromise….
The really difficult thing when I am in Venice is keeping up with all my email as I am out so much – so today I will spend mostly in my office in San Marco — I have a meeting with my graphic designer who is working on two books for me… the first a general one about Venice Sotheby’s Realty and another about a very special Palladian property we are going to be selling in the Veneto. They are coming along well and I am pleased, but he forgets to bring the paper samples so I have to arrange to meet him again this afternoon, fitting in yet another coffee break before a visit to the wonderful Palazzo Polignac where we have a divine prestige property for let (Marchesa) and where Save Venice now have their headquarters, so after chatting over the paper samples I spend a delightful hour with Melissa Conn who runs Save Venice here, chatting and admiring their new rooms and wonderful library. Squashy sofas abound. We are very interested in their excellent restoration projects, and we support the London based Venice in Peril also.
A friend calls me to come for casual drinks at 6.30 but I am exhausted and going to the opera this evening …. I love the spontaneity of Venice though…so easy to do last minute things and always bumping into people and HAVING to stop for a spritz!
In the evening to La Fenice … a perfect end to my few days work in Venice……but so much I haven’t done, and am going back to London tomorrow….we have 3 important sales going on currently which I need to follow up… as well as taking on a couple more prestige rental properties……and planning my next trip in March…. it’s never ending!