Iwake up very early on Saturday. Our house is in Treviso, close to Venice, and we have quite a family team: my wife Alessandra, Ignazio, 14, Lucrezia, six, Ottavia, four, Cornelia, two, and Gustavo, who is just a baby. So there’s a lot going on in the morning.
I like to train for about an hour and a half when I get up. I do some yoga, then cardio, stretching and weights. After that we’ll take the boat into Venice. We might go for breakfast at the Cipriani; I like avocado with salmon and a pot of green tea. We’ll sit outside, looking across the water towards the Lido.
After breakfast we might take a boat over to the Rialto, in the heart of the city. There are some good shops in the area, including a branch of Coin Excelsior, a concept store that started out in Milan and sells everything from books to shoes and accessories, from a mix of brands like Nike, Ralph Lauren and Taschen.
I’ll take the children over to the glass factories on Burano and Murano to see glass being made – it’s important to show them this kind of history and point out things that were being done centuries ago that are still important today. I’ll shop at the Venini store – it’s very traditional in terms of the craft of Murano glassmaking, but is also contemporary in style. I have some beautiful Venini lamps and vases.
We’ll have lunch at Trattoria al Gatto Nero, a seafood restaurant on Burano, where the people are friendly and the quality is the best on the Laguna. The scampi is very good, as is the tagliolini with spider crab – a typical Veneto dish.
After lunch, we might visit the Biennale in the Giardini. I like the architecture event best and we’ll spend all afternoon visiting the different nations’ pavilions.
We’ll watch the sunset from the roof of the Danieli hotel, which has a beautiful view of the city. There’s something so special about the sunset in Venice – the colours of the buildings change with the colour of the sky. While we are watching I’ll have a white spritz – prosecco, soda and lime. I prefer mine without Aperol.
Dinner would be at Harry’s Bar. It’s a total classic with traditional food – I like the veal cannelloni. It’s always busy but what’s really special about Harry’s is the service – there are three or four waiters for each table so you are well attended to.
After dinner we’ll walk back to where we have left the car, at Piazzale Roma. It’s great to walk around Venice at night when you have it to yourself, although it’s easy to get lost. I love the area close to the Gallerie dell’Accademia with its mix of modern design and classical architecture.
If we’re in the mood, we might stay overnight at the Cipriani, so we can enjoy breakfast and a swim the next morning. It’s quite an experience to swim there, right on the Laguna. But no matter where we sleep, we’ll go for lunch at Antica Dogana, which is at the midpoint where the lagoon meets the sea – we’ll sit on the terrace in the afternoon sun. They specialise in seafood, and it might be my favourite place in the world to eat raw fish, which is very Venetian.
After lunch we might spend a few hours swimming. There are good beaches here, and there are parts where the water is very shallow. We head back to San Marco for sunset, and take a table on the terrace at the Bauer Hotel, another classic Venetian place, mixing traditional design with contemporary art. We’ll sit facing the Grand Canal, watching all the boats and gondolas go back and forth.
Living in Venice gives you a different state of mind from any other city. It’s a place that was designed for human beings, not cars, a place for walking. There is a harmony around the dimensions of the buildings, which is why everyone smiles when they are there.