Inside a Venetian Palazzo that’s been in the Same Family for 200 Years
Not much has changed inside the Arrivabene family’s Palazzo Papadopoli—except for the fact that the lower floors have been turned into an Aman hotel.
by Whitney Robinson, 1 September 2016
The Arrivabene family has lived in Venice’s Palazzo Papadopoli for the last two centuries. Most recently, on the top floor. Three years ago, the rest of the house was turned into an Aman hotel. While the living arrangements have remained much the same, now these Italian Nobles have room service.
Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga and Princess Bianca di Savoia Aosta (in Prada), with their four daughters (from left), Mafalda, 18; Viola, 25; Maddalena, 16; and Vera, 23 (all in Dior and ViBi Venezia); son Leonardo, 14; and dog Bricola. The young ladies have become part of the oft- photographed and oft-imitated European It girls set.
The chair in Giberto’s studio belonged to his father. His glassware is available at the Dior boutique in London. “What I have seen in this house since I was a young boy has inspired my drawings and my art today.”
“My childhood bedroom overlooked the Grand Canal, and I used to fall asleep listening to the gondolieri singing ‘Santa Lucia.’ I’m still there, and they are still singing the same tune. I have been very lucky—and very spoiled.”—Giberto Arrivabene
The newly refurbished salon of the Aman Venice. The house was fully renovated and modernized but retains its classic features.
One of the suites in the hotel.
A gondolier in front of the Aman’s entrance.
“Venice is special,” Bianca says. “When you live here you understand how privileged you are to be able to raise your children here. They are so free; they drive boats instead of mopeds. They grew up in such beauty, such perfection.” The women wear velvet slippers by ViBi Venezia, the line started by Viola and Vera Arrivabene.
A collection of silver cups.
Glass sculptures designed by Giberto.
Bianca in a Modiglianiesque pose next to a marble statue
A shelf full of Arrivabene memorabilia.
The living room table is filled with family treasures.
Vera on the Grand Canal.
Viola and Vera relax in their room in front of samples from ViBi Venezia, their line of handcrafted Venetian velvet slippers.
Leonardo in his bedroom, wearing velvet slippers from his sisters’ line, ViBi Venezia.