The mosaics of San Marco in the furnishing accessories of VDA Borella

Arianne is a really unique furnishing accessory: with its outlandish shape, it is suitable for enhance the most original and the chicest rooms. Arianne is a happy encounter between the traditional venetian glass art and floral art; it is an artistic creation that in its shape and decorations holds the essence of VDA Borella: the Riviera del Brenta, world excellence in the footwear industry, and Venice, of which Arianne celebrates one of its most famous symbols with its handcrafted decorations, the Saint Mark’s basilica.

Gold, multicoloured enamels, bright, lively and vibrant colours decorate the court shoe. Work of the skilled hands of our master decorators, the handcrafted decorations of this furnishing accessory are are freely inspired by the magnificence of the Byzantine mosaics that decorate the basilica of Saint Mark, the spiritual center of the city.


The Basilica of Saint Mark was built starting from the IX century, after the transfer of the Saint’s body from Alexandria to Venice. It was chosen to build it next to the Palazzo Ducale, seat of the government of the Republic, to replace the previous chapel of San Teodoro. The church suffered several fires before reaching its present form, which was begun in 1071, under the governement of Domenico Selvo. The new basilica with its Byzantine architectural conception has its focal point in its mosaic decorations.

The mosaics of Saint Mark, in warm colors, with a clear predominance of gold, almost entirely cover the basilica, for over 8000 square meters; with them, the most significant stories for the Christian religion are illustrated, such as the life of Christ, of the Virgin and of Saint Mark. These mosaics are a splendid example of the revisitation of Greek-Byzantine art by Venice but also testimony to the history and faith of the city.

Precious as Venetian glass art, the mosaic art of Saint Mark is still a source of wonder and admiration: in visiting the basilica it is impossible not to be amazed.


Venice is, for VDA Borella, an infinite inspiration to forge and decorate all its creations. From the fantastic geometry of the bridges to the sumptuous facades of the buildings, up to the golden splendours of the mosaics of Saint Mark, every corner and glimpse of Venice is unforgettable. In the lagoon city, contemporaneity and tradition meet in the eternity of art. Thus, with a piece of furniture that is both tradition and modernity, VDA Borella wanted to honor one of the most important symbols of its city.

The Phoenix: the reborning art

Among the most recent Murano glass mirrors of our collection, Fenice is for sure the most preacious creation.

Result of our skillful master artisans’ wise work, Fenice unites art of glass and a lovely lichens and stabilized moss arrangement, that turns this masterpiece into a truly innovative piece of furniture.

With this creation, we’ve chosen to honor an excellence of our city, the Phoenix, opera theatre and brilliant example of Venice’s beautiful architecture.

La Fenice Theatre is the principal opera theatre in Venice and one of the most beautiful theatres in Italy. Built between 1790 and 1792 on a project by the neoclassical architect Giannantonio Selva, the Theatre is situated in Sestriere of San Marco, in Campo San Fantin.

Its building raised many controversies, in particular about the huge expenses that surpassed a lot the amount expected in project site. Despite all, the theatre was inaugurated on the 16th of May 1792, during the Festa della Sensa, with the first show of “I giuochi d’argento” by Giovanni Paisiello.

Throughout the 19th century, La Fenice theatre distinguished itself for its prestige: it has been seat of various first representations of operas by the most famous Italian musicians, such as Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini and Giuseppe Verdi.

In particular, the first of the Rigoletto in 1851 and the first of La Traviata in 1853 were premeried, this latter loudly whistled by the public. The theatre also hosted royal visitors like Napoleone Bonaparte in 1807, Austria and Hungary emperors Francesco Giuseppe and his wife Elisabetta in 1859, and the king of Italy Emanuele III, who met here in 1895 his future wife, the princess Elena di Montenegro.

The theatre continued also in the next century to be home to great successes of international artists like Igor Stravinskij, Sergej Prokofiev, Luigi Nono, Mauricio Kagel, Bruno Maderna.

During its existence, La Fenice theatre burned down two times in 1836 and in 1996, and then it resurrected from its ashes, omen nomen, both times. If the first burning almost entirely destroyed the theatre saving just the entrance and the outer walls, the second one was intentional and it committed firemen all night.

Thanks to artisans’ and conservators’ intervention, the beautiful stuccoes and gilding have been fixed and recretaed in an almost identical way to the original ones.

The new theatre’s renaissance was celebrated with an entire week of concerts, from the 14th to the 21st of December 2003, seven years after the tragic fire.

Sospiri bridge in Venice

Among our latest Murano glass creations, Sospiri stands out. This wonderful Murano glass mirror is entirely handmade by master craftsmen with the cold engraving technique.

In the middle, the mirror has been further embellished by our flower designers with a graceful arrangement of stabilised roses, flowers and lichen, intended to last through years without any care.

Our artistic creations are inspired by art and nature of our homeland, the Riviera del Brenta and Venice, places full of history and traditions.

With Sospiri vegetal mirror, we decided to honour the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (Ponte dei Sospiri in italian) that links the Doge’s Palace to the New Prisons.


At the end of the XVI century, the Republic of Venice decided to build a new prison beyond the Rio di Palazzo. It was a choice made out of necessity: the old prison inside of the Doge’s Palace was unsafe and too small.

As a consequence, he building of a bridge that linked the Palace to the New Prisons became unavoidable. At the beginning of the XVII century, the project by Antonio Contino was approved and the construction works started by the will of the Doge Marino Grimani.

Project designed by Contino imposed an aery, quick and safe passage to link the first floor of the Doge’s Palace to the second floor of the New Prisons, in order to avoid escape attempts by the prisoners.

The enclosed bridge was built according to the Baroque style, made of white limestone and decorated on the external surfaces with the Doge Grimani’s emblem. Two small stone windows with stone bars allowed to the prisoners the latest, narrow view of the city, with the Ponte della Paglia and San Servolo Island on one side and the back side of the Doge’s Palace and Ponte della Canonica on the other.

The name “Bridge of Sighs” seems to result from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells.

The Venetian rosebud Festival: a history of eternal Love

The 25th of april is a very important date for Venice: on this day, the city celebrates its patron saint, Saint Mark, and the traditional “festa del bocolo” (rosebud festival), a sort of Valentine’s Day.

Before the tradition of Valentine’s Day was born, the venetians celebrated love during saint Mark’s day with the beautiful rosebud tradition.

The origin of this custom goes back to IX century, when Venice was ruled by Doge Orso I Partecipazio.

It was his daughter, Maria, who became one of the main character of the legend that lays behind the Festival.

The legend tells that Maria, also known as Vulcana, fell in love with Tancredi, a young troubadour of humble beginnings.

For this reason, their love couldn’t come true: it was inconceivable that the Doge’s daughter could marry a miserable poet. In order to fix this situation, Maria suggested his lover to follow emperor Charlemagne in the war against Moors: once he came back like a hero and a winner, Tancredi would be a worthy groom for Maria.

Tancredi left with the emperor and his knights. Months passed by and the news of Tancredi’s heroic courage spread through all christian lands, until it reached Venice.

Joyful, Venetians were preparing to receive him like a hero; Maria, thrilled, was waiting the day she would finally marry her beloved.

Unfortunately, Tancredi was wounded to death during the battle and died on a rose garden. His blood stained a rosebud, that dyed red.

The legend says that, with his dying breath, Tancredi gave that rosebud to Roland, the famous hero, begging him to go to Venice and give it to Maria.

After the war, loyal to the promise, Roland arrived in Venice. It was Saint Mark’s day.

He gave Maria the rosebud, red by her lover’s blood. Heartbroken, Maria died that very night, holding on tight the rosebud close to her chest.

Since then, according to tradition, every 25th april, saint Mark’s Day, every man gives a red rosebud to his beloved, as a sign of eternal love.