Oro in Italian means gold, to Venetians it also means yes, cool, great. This is because when ships would travel back toward la Serenissima in the old days, the lookout, the young boy sitting at the top of the mast, would scream “ORO!” when in site of the Pala D’Oro. Sitting on top of Punta della Dogana, the former customs’ office, the Pala D’Oro still stands sturdy with the Fortune’s statue blowing in the wind at the entrance to the city. It was great news, it meant they were back HOME. Today, Venetians use ORO with a hint of happiness in their voice to say YES, especially when asked to meet for a Spritz.
The life of Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga is viscerally linked to Venice. His childhood memories, the most beautiful, are those that have taken place in the rooms of Palazzo Papadopoli, between frescoes of Tiepolo and family affection. “In my earliest memories Venice had other colours. It was more obscure, dramatic, decayed and deeply romantic – simply beautiful. There wasn’t the same light like there is today – more dazzling perhaps, but less poetic.”
Each piece derives from a watercolour sketch made by Giberto on tracing paper: “When I see something that inspires me, or an object that I like, I sketch and rework it – then move on to the realization of it.”
The glass, the main material in the collections, is worked exclusively in Murano. Each glass, each specific object, is blown by master glassmakers in the Venetian furnaces.
Giberto takes his watercolours to discuss with them and refine the project, check its feasibility, and to make eventual changes.