La Casa di Hubert de Givenchy
One of the biggest questions after when will this end is when can we travel again. I don’t think we’ll be able to travel Europe again until late fall or possibly even next year but when we can, you may want to put Venice at the top of your must visit list. There you can rent La Casa di Hubert de Givenchy, an apartment that sits on the top two floors of a palazzo that once belonged to the French couture fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy.
He purchased the pied-à-terre in the 1980s from his good friend, Susanna Agnelli, sister of Gianni, who an Italian politician, businesswoman, and writer. According to WWD, Susanna “had already done much work on the apartment to restore it to its 16th-century grandeur before Givenchy added some of his personal touches, including a duo of marble bathrooms and a library. He also adorned the walls with a plethora of brightly colored handmade fabrics. Givenchy’s blue wallpaper still takes center stage in one of the guest rooms, while the main living room is covered in hand-painted floral fabrics he imported from France.”
“The white-on-white kitchen, meanwhile, has been little changed from Agnelli’s time, which still now seems modern with its motorized tables that lift up and down with the help of Fiat pantographs. After all, her grandfather founded the famous Italian car company.”
Many features of the apartment are unchanged from the designer’s time due to Carlo Traglio, the president of Vhernier jewelry, who bought it from Givenchy in 2004. He did make a few changes which include restoring the two marble bathrooms and building a sprawling wooden terrace with 360-degree views over Venice.
It’s unclear who owns it now but the three-bedroom apartment with air conditioning that sits steps from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has a rate of 750 Euros per night. I suspect that rate will decrease as travel restrictions continue so might get an even better deal on the fashionable rental.
“A bright and elegantly understated sitting room / library in ‘ton sur ton’ whites – a restful reading room and fitting introduction to the apartment boasting finely crafted cabinetry, a comfortable sofa, soft lighting and a pair of windows overlooking the hidden green spaces of well-to-do and well-maintained neighbouring gardens.”
“The apartment’s strikingly spacious and utterly delicious master bedroom – a candied lemon confection richly enrobed from top to toe in Fortuny’s ‘Persiano Citron’ tapestry tastefully dotted with black & white photographs of Hubert and Audrey – wearing Givenchy, naturally – and showcasing white wooden flooring and tall windows dressed in the sumptuous ruffles of billowing festoon blinds, one of which is a beautiful Venetian gothic ogee-arched ‘bifora’ perfectly illustrating the palazzo’s 16th century roots.”
The rental features photos of Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn.
“A light and airy, all-white en suite bathroom – but not just any bathroom! – A wonderful space in its own right featuring marble flooring, a luxurious freestanding roll-top bathtub with central rain-shower above, and an inbuilt vanity unit to the side providing the ultimate opportunity for copious pampering and prepping for your very own Venice premiere!”
“A 3rd double bedroom with a double bed beneath painted beams – fresh, bright and picked out in pretty raspberry hues – offering splendid views of the Rio de Torreselle Canal, Sansovino’s Palazzo Corner, Salute and the Campanile in the distance, and with its own pristine marble en suite bathroom with shower.”
“A romantic 2nd double bedroom named ‘The Audrey Hepburn Room’ – a ravishingly intimate haven as charming and graceful as the movie star herself – bedecked in Colefax & Fowler’s ‘Lincoln’ French tapestry personally chosen by Miss Hepburn and home to a double bed, a novel electronically automated cupboard and opulently draped windows framing a quintessentially Venetian view towards St. Mark’s Campanile and the domes of Santa Maria Della Salute.”
“A separate sparkling second bathroom to the side in dapple-grey marble with large shower.”
“Petite in proportion but enormous in impact – a 3rd sitting room / luxury snug attired from head to foot in dapper nautical stripes with an all-embracing u-shaped sofa – once seated and relaxed you might never want to move!”
“Set beneath the eaves – the original, radiant, (and quite unexpected!) all-white kitchen / dining room.”
“Way ahead of its time and perfectly arranged to suit the way we like to cook and entertain today, the room houses a pair of long cantilevered dining tables running along its centre with rising and falling mechanisms designed by Fiat engineers (and now permanently set for your convenience), ample Corian worktops, a sink and stove (and more!) to either side, a walk-in fridge-freezer, plus all the mod-cons you’d expect of such a home!”
“A characterful 2nd sitting room reveling in its highly patterned appeal sits off one side of the kitchen. “
“A symphony in Chinoiserie named ‘The Chinese Room’ thanks to Zoffany’s delightful ‘Emperor’s Musician’ tapestry adorning its walls, lampshades and luxurious corner sofa – and featuring a sloping beamed ceiling, painted wooden flooring, garden views beyond and a minaret-topped antique birdcage with one of its doors flung open wide to reveal a little flock of glass birds perfectly at home beneath the beams!”
A spectacular wooden furnished ‘altana’ rooftop terrace enjoying breathtaking views of Venetian roofscapes all around rises up from the kitchen.
Also note that the palazzo’s lush and well-tended lawned garden – shared with other palazzo residents and featuring climbing wisteria, small shrubs and a splendid holm oak tree – may be also be used by guests of La Casa di Hubert de Givenchy, however, kindly note that picnics, dining and sunbathing are not permitted.