Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Gondolier Lessons" by Hilton

Since the late 1800’s, Venetians have gazed across the wide, picturesque Giudecca Canal, and seen a huge building - one that seemed quite out of place in 1859 when Giovanni Stucky built it.
The building looked different because it had been designed by a guy from Hanover in Northern Germany and then there was the issue of its enormity.
It dwarfed everything in the neighborhood.
Known as “Mulino Stucky”, this well-known monolith was a flour mill, which fell into decline after Mr. Stucky was murdered in 1910 by one of his employees.
No, my friends, I’m not making this stuff up.
In 1954 the doors of the mill closed for good and it sat there doing nothing, once again giving folks something to talk about.
Then, some years back, Hilton bought the place and began turning it into a hotel.
A fire in ’03 gave the folks something more to talk about.
See photos of the fire here:

Here's a shot I took of the building under rennovation in 2005

Then in 2007 the Hilton Molino Stucky opened its doors as a luxury hotel. The Hiltons have done a good job with the old mill and by many reports, people find the building much more pleasing to look at today than they did 148 years ago.
Recently the old Stucky Mill has given the folks something else to talk about:
gondolier lessons.
Hotel guests can receive lessons in the physical and mental disciplines of being a gondolier.
A squero tour is part of the program.
Participants get to be “gondolier for a day” and even get to take their striped shirt home as a souvenir.
To learn more about the hotel version of this building, go to:

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