I’m Venetian by adoption, not by birth, and I’d be lying if I said it was love at first sight.
It took a while for things to start working out between us. While I couldn’t get over the unquestionable beauty of this city floating on water and suspended in time, I could never really feel at home. To my eyes, Venice didn’t seem open to show me its truest, most vulnerable parts, and as a result, I was on the defensive. Then came a moment, in the midst of the challenging year that was 2020, when the city finally dropped its defences. And that’s when I stepped inside and fell in love, just like many before me. However, I must say there’s something that Venice has always instilled in me ever since I was a little girl and came back every year to spend Christmas holidays with my grandparents: its magic. I’ve always been inclined to surrender to fantasies and day-dreaming, but there’s a certain time of the year when I allow this side of me to prevail over reason.
Needless to say, I’m referring to Christmas.
I find the mere thought of explaining what Christmas means to me quite unusual, since my feelings are so real that I can’t fathom the thought of others not feeling the same way. To me, Christmas magic has nothing to do with clichés and consumerism which, to be honest, I try to avoid. What I love about this time is the cosy warmth it makes me feel. On the 25th and in the days leading up to the big day, I feel all my past moments of joyful celebration, memories and sensations coming back to life and connecting to one another and to my future by means of a shiny thread of light. And Venice magnifies this charming, unique feeling by adding its own special touch of magic.
For me, smiling at the sight of the lights reflected off the water is nothing unusual.
Writing festive cards to the sound of Bing Crosby’s warm voice makes me happy, just like walking by hardworking tree sellers unloading firs from their boats. The fragrance of Christmas focaccia bread starts making its way out of bakeries’ ovens, and house lights are switched on earlier and earlier, tempting us to take a quick peek into other people’s lives. Crowds rapidly walk up and down bridges, snuggled up in their coats as they attempt to balance piles of boxes and tight deadlines.
Delis start whipping up New Year’s Eve menus filled with mouth-watering dishes like bigoli pasta with salt cod sauce, as though making sure we'll make a good impression with our guests on our holly-decorated tables. So yes, Christmas truly does make everything a little better, and you might find yourself wanting to smile to strangers like they do in movies.
By now you must have realised that Christmas has made its way into my heart and become a part of me, and I can assure that something special comes to life when you stumble upon someone who feels the same way about this festive time.
And I’m pretty sure that Metropole shares my vision.
As I spoke about Christmas with Gloria Beggiato in her hotel, I sensed the same vibrations in her voice. The way she talked about it made it clear that everything, from the choice of trees to table decorations, is imbued with family traditions and love for this period’s magic. By getting invited into this special setting, guests are gifted a precious present, as though they were close friends. And if their sensitivity allows it, their experience will be much deeper than they would have ever expected. Although this hotel is already known for its carefully perfected details, December brings about unique, charming decorations, special festive recipes and countless, little secrets waiting to be uncovered in person.
Which is why staying at Metropole Hotel feels like a journey into a real Advent Calendar.
Sarah works as a creative both online and offline. She started her journey on the web in 2010, launching her personal blog Chic Neverland while studying at IUAV Architecture University in Venice. She soon started creating connections with brands and web agencies, working on digital project on her channels both in fashion, beauty and travel fields, adding then an Instagram presence when the social network established itself in Italy as main platform.
In 2020 Sarah launched a rebranded version of Chic Neverland, evolving the website from a personal blog to a more interactive platform dedicated to travel, beauty and style. She also works on many personal projects, like a travel format with the aim to organize trips based on unique experiences.