Venetian Chic: Discover the beauty of Venice with the city’s top businesswoman

Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice.
Photo: Robyn Lea

Rheanna-Marie Hall rediscovers the charm and beauty of the mysterious floating city, through the new book Venetian Chic by Francesca Bortolotto Possati. Possati, a native Venetian, is also CEO and Chairman of Venice’s Bauer Hotel Group; the only female CEO in the whole city, in fact…


‘I was born and grew up in Venice in a home along the Grand Canal, surrounded by the Lagoon, a place that was exotically stunning. I drove a boat before I could even ride a bike. I learned to swim on the Lido, with the Adriatic lapping at my toes. I was taken to school, to dance class, to the mercato, and to visit friends via the waterways that traverse our city.’

So begins the new book from businesswoman, hotelier, art lover, and native Venetian Francesca Bortolotto Possati. Including a forward by Jeremy Irons, the book is a collection of Venetian beauty and history, full of stunning photography by Robyn Lea and featuring quotes from the likes of Truman Capote, Peggy Guggenheim, John Ruskin, Mary Shelley, and Karl Lagerfeld.

Francesca Bortolotto Possati
Francesca Bortolotto Possati

‘A world of hidden entrances, chance encounters, and new opportunities, underscored by a wonderful sense of blurred boundaries as architecture literally gives way to the sea.’

It was Possati’s grandfather, Arnaldo Bennati, who purchased the Bauer in 1930. Sixty-nine years later, in 1999, Possati returned to Italy from the United States, oversaw an expansive renovation of the central Bauer Hotel, and then took full control of the Bauer Estate’s business operations.

She is also a board member of Save Venice Inc. and sponsors the Zuecca Project Space.


‘There is a depth of feeling attached to that pursuit of harmony and appreciation of spontaneity that I’ve always believed to be born directly of my Venetian heritage. In many ways, Venice was founded on the magic of transience—a fragile, beautiful jewel. It’s important to remember that this city is in constant peril from the threat of erosion, a fact that generates an immaterial sense of intensity.’

Venetian Chic is published by Assouline, and is available to buy now. Find out more here.


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