Our History


The art of hospitality for more than 100 years.
From inn for travellers to a home for artists from all over the world.
Today also an art gallery in the heart of Venice.
Hotel La Fenice et des Artistes: more than just a stay.
A stay down to a fine art.


1895

The story of our hotel goes back to distant 1895. Mr Romanelli and his daughter bought the ancient “Siora Roma” inn, a favourite haunt of seafarers and travellers. One of these, Enrico Zoppi, a handsome sailor from Ancona, remained dazzled by the beauty of Miss Romanelli and in a few months asked for her hand in marriage.


1907

In 1907, Enrico Zoppi officially became the inn’s new owner. Thanks to him, the inn became one of the most famous places in Venice for “revelry and inebriation”, the perfect place for the artists and travellers coming to the city from all over the world.


1910 – 1920s

Over the years, the guests became ever more refined: intellectuals, poets and musicians became the most devoted customers. It was, in fact, one of Italy's most famous poets, the great Gabriele D’Annunzio, who in 1910 renamed the Zoppi inn “Taverna La Fenice”, today one of Venice’s oldest restaurants.


1925 – 1930s

Numerous artists began asking Mr Zoppi for a place to stay near the La Fenice Theatre after the long singing and dancing rehearsals. And so he decided to convert his tavern into a hotel-home for artists, with a full 25 rooms. The operation was such a success that even the renowned Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello moved there for the entire theatre season in 1926.


1940 – 1950s

The city was not immune to the horrors of the Second World War and Venice became a ghost city. Alas, Emilio Zoppi’s sons, Dino and Bruno, who had taken over from their elderly father, failed in relaunching the family business. Reluctantly they were obliged to put the restaurant up for sale and auction the hotel.


1962 – 1970s

The hotel was reborn in 1962 with the Facchini family. Thanks to their passion and dedication, over the years the hotel managed to regain its ancient prestige and become once again the home of art and artists in Venice. Anacleto Facchini – the father of the family and a well-known art collector - embellished the bedrooms and other rooms with paintings, objets d’art and statues. The hotel became a miniature art gallery.

Dante Apollonio took over as manager and, as a a great orator, was able to attract the greatest artists of the time to the hotel. Igor Stravinskij, Pavarotti, Fellini, Miles Davis, Maria Callas, Riccardo Muti, Katia Ricciarelli, Robert De Niro, Carla Fracci, and Ugo Tognazzi, to name but a few.

One of the most devoted was Marcello Mastroianni who, whenever he took his leave, said goodbye to Dante with a “ciao brother” and a kiss on the cheek.

The hotel was so famous at the time, it was even chosen as a film set for two famous films shot in Venice: Anonimo Veneziano (The Anonymous Venetian) an Italian film from 1970, and Don’t look now, a well-known American horror film from 1974.


1985 – 2019

Still today, more than 50 years later, the Facchini family - Michele, daughter Eleonora and son Gregory - treasure and preserve the history and tradition of the historic Venetian hotel.

Paintings, autographs and photographs have remained as they were. But the Facchini family have done more than just preserve art, they have also promoted it. From 2000 to 2009, the Hotel in fact organised eight painting competitions in its rooms. The paintings are still displayed today in the hotel’s common areas, rooms and corridors.

The composers, famous TV personalities, actors and dancers who stay with us still appreciate the family and artistic atmosphere. They include, Michail Baryšnikov, Alberto Angela and Toni Servillo.

With dedication, for more than 50 years, the Facchini family has been looking after their guests, day after day making them feel at home and part of a great family, the family of the historic Hotel La Fenice et des Artistes, the home of art and artists in Venice


 

In 1997, the New York Times dedicated an entire article to us (click here for PDF), covering our history and capturing all the originality of a place that is more than just a simple hotel. It is at one and the same time home, art, gallery and hotel, in its simplicity,
expressing the art of hospitality in the heart of Venice.

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