Aman overlooks the Grand Canal in San Polo, the smallest of the six sestieri (districts) of Venice. Named for the Church of San Polo, it is also one of the oldest parts of the city, known for its beautiful palaces, churches and market.
The palazzo in which Aman is housed, Palazzo Papadopoli, was built in the 16th century by the architect Gian Giacomo dé Grigi, as commissioned by the Coccina family of Bergamo. At the beginning of the 19th century, the property was bought by two brothers, Nicolò and Angelo Papadopoli Aldobrandini. They entrusted the internal decoration of the piano nobile – the main living area of the palazzo, to Michelangelo Guggenheim, a leading exponent of the Neo-Renaissance and Rococo styles. He reinvented the space, turning the palazzo into one of the most significant examples of these styles in Venice. The brothers also bought two adjacent buildings which they razed in order to build two gardens – very unusual features in Venice. Today these beautiful gardens are green oases in this historic district, alive with the gentle sounds of water all about.
piano nobile lounge
Guests usually arrive at the property by boat, docking at a landing that leads directly into the palazzo’s Reception Hall. With its soaring ceilings and historic frescos and reliefs, the hall provides a sense of bygone luxury, as well as direct access to the resort’s private gardens and a small Boutique specialising in Venetian glassware.
A sweeping staircase rises through two levels to arrive at the reception area for the Dining Room, which overlooks the Grand Canal and serves Italian and Asian cuisines. This is situated on the piano nobile – the grandest floor of the palazzo. The main dining area is housed in the ballroom – a gilded room decorated with mirrors, frescos and the original chandeliers. The Yellow Dining Room and the Red Dining Room lie adjacent to the ballroom, with views over the Grand Canal and the resort’s Garden Terrace respectively. Named for their colour schemes and featuring ceilings painted by the renowned 18th-century artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, each room has a number of dining tables and provides an intimate setting within grand surrounds. Accessed from the ballroom is the Bar which provides a cosy setting with canal views.
del tiepolo game room
piano nobile dining room
Rising from the reception area of the Dining Room is a secondary staircase that leads to the fourth level. This houses the Salon – a regal, lofty-ceilinged lounge and relaxation area featuring a grand piano. The Salon is divided into two large areas with expansive windows providing views of the Grand Canal. Similar views are enjoyed by the historic Library which is situated adjacent to the Salon.
red dining room
yellow dining room
Also on this level are the Stanza del Tiepolo and Stanza del Guarana which can be used for private dining and meetings.
An elevator provides access to the Roof Terrace. Intimate in scale and evident in many of the buildings within Venice, the terrace is best visited early in the morning or at sunset, and is the ideal location to view the rooftops of the city. On a clear day, the Alps are visible in the distance.
altana roof terrace
interior garden terrace
Fronting the Grand Canal is the Garden Terrace, one of very few private gardens on the canal. Mature trees and a quadrangle of verdant green grass provide the ideal setting for a relaxing hour or two, or an al fresco meal in the warmer months.
Aman has a second hidden Private Garden with soaring trees that provides a serene setting for resort guests. It also provides walking access to San Polo.
spa & fitness
The spa is located, almost secretly, on the third level of the Garden Building. Access is via a small stairwell which leads to a discrete reception area. Dimly lit with low ceilings, the spa exudes the atmosphere of a sanctuary, and provides three single treatment rooms, each with a dressing area and bathroom. One of the treatment rooms has a soaking tub that can be used in conjunction with body scrubs.
The property has a small gym offering aerobic and strength-conditioning equipment, an area for free weights and stretching, and commanding views over the city’s roofline.
Aman offers a total of 24 accommodations with the majority being of unique layout and design. Many feature protected frescos and reliefs that reflect past periods of art and architecture. Furniture and furnishings throughout the accommodations are contemporary, yet of a simple aesthetic.
Most accommodations provide combined living areas and bedrooms, as well as linked dressing areas and bathrooms. Lighting is most often provided by table and standing lamps. Each provides a television which broadcasts local and international channels as well as movies and documentaries on demand. A docking station is also included. All accommodations offer a king-sized bed, an armoire with personal bar, a writing desk and either a sofa or twin lounge chairs. There are a total of four accommodation categories, differentiated by design, floor area and view.
alcova tiepolo suite (featured)
The Alcova Tiepolo Suite offers a Chinese painted sitting room and a bedroom ceiling by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Tiepolo has been described as the “greatest decorative painter of 18th-century Europe, as well as its most able craftsman”.
canal grande suite
Located above the front door of the palazzo, this suite directly fronts the Grand Canal offering exceptional views. It features a lovely sitting room with an arched window through which the full spectrum of the canal’s maritime activities can be viewed. It can become a two-bedroom suite when necessary.
This historic room features high, frescoed ceilings, silk wall coverings and a chandelier in the bathroom. The tall windows offer wonderful views over the Garden Terrace and the Grand Canal.
Most historians agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees from the mainland, fleeing Germanic and Hun invasions, as well as fishermen. The traditional founding of the city is identified with the dedication of its first church, San Giacomo, on the islet of Rialto. This is said to have occurred at noon on 25th March 421.
While still officially a part of the Eastern Roman Empire in the late sixth century, Venice’s isolated position meant that the Roman/Byzantine territory enjoyed increasing autonomy. In 726, the soldiers and citizens of Venice elected their own leader for the first time after an uprising, and Ursus became the first of 117 Doges. Doge is the Venetian form of the Latin dux (leader). In a savvy political move, Ursus supported the Byzantine Emperor Leo III in a military expedition to recover the area, and as a result Venice was granted numerous privileges and concessions.
Venice was granted trading rights along the Adriatic coast in 814, and in 828 the city’s prestige was raised by the acquisition of the claimed relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria. These were placed in the new basilica. As Byzantine power waned, Venice grew increasingly autonomous, leading eventually to the territory’s independence.
Between the 9th and the 12th centuries Venice developed into a city state with impressive naval and commercial powers. Its strategic location made it almost invulnerable to attack, and with the elimination of pirates along the Dalmatian coast, the city became a flourishing trade centre. In building its maritime commercial empire, the Republic of Venice dominated the salt trade and came to control much of the eastern shores of the Adriatic, the ‘Terraferma’ (from Lake Garda on the mainland west to the Adda River), and most of the islands in the Aegean including Cyprus and Crete.
Venice became an imperial power after the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, when much of the plunder was brought to its shores. By the late 13th century, Venice was the most prosperous city in all of Europe, dominating Mediterranean commerce. During this time, the city’s most powerful families tried to outdo each other by building the grandest palaces possible, and supporting the work of the most talented artists. Governed by the Great Council (whose members came from the city’s nobility) which elected a Senate of 200 to 300 men, it was really the Council of Ten (voted for by the Senate and headed by the Doge) who controlled much of the administration of the city.
Venice’s long decline began in the 15th century, with unsuccessful military campaigns against the Ottomans, the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus, and Portugal’s new sea route to India which destroyed Venice’s land route monopoly. Another factor was the devastation of the Republic’s population wrought by the Black Plague: Between 1575 and 1577, 50,000 people died, and in 1630, the plague again killed a third of the city’s citizens. Left behind in the race for colonies due to galleys unsuited to sailing across oceans, Venice slowly lost its position as a centre of international trade.
Today the city is a major tourist attraction and a centre of the art world, hosting the Venetian Biennale which includes the famous Venetian Film Festival, every two years.
Aman Canal Grande Venice
Calle Tiepolo 1364
Sestiere San Polo
tel (39) 041 2707333
fax (39) 041 2707555