The “Antica Sacrestia” has ancient origins. It is an historical stamp of the restaurant industry in Venice. For more than 30 years, until December 2013, its location was in the neighbourhood of the church of San Giovanni Novo, nowadays a deconsecrated church whose priests, hundreds of years ago, used to prepare food for poor people. According to some sources, its origin goes back to the 19th century.
Giuseppe Calliandro, the owner of the restaurant for almost 20 years, has chosen to aim for quality in placing value upon the best traditional Venetian cuisine and to suggest a range of ancient flavours which reflect the history and the magic of Venice. It is a cuisine well appreciated by Venetians and tourists, who have made the “Antica Sacrestia” one of the best known restaurants on an international scale.
Since the end of 2013 it has had a new location. The restoration work, which lasted two years, respected the historical, artistic and architectural values of Venice, restoring a place rich in history, art and culture.
Since 1966 the building has housed the art gallery of the Venetian Maestro del vetro (Glass Maestro) Egidio Costantini renamed “Fucina degli Angeli” (Forge of Angels) by the famous man of letters Jean Cocteau, in order to underline the value of the artistic place, where the Master and the artists could make and exhibit their works. It was the place where a new artistic movement called “Fucina degli Angeli” carried out by Costantini himself, took place and developed. Some of the most remarkable artists of any time, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, used to frequent the place.
The history of the building goes back to the time of the Serenissima. Its form can be seen in the map of Venice by Jacopo de’ Barbari in 1500. Since 1581 it belonged to the Briani family, one of the most ancient noble families of Venice from Bergamo. The Brianis were members of the Major Council of the Serenissima and many of them served the Republic. The Coat of arms of the family is still alive today and can be seen in the hall of the “Antica Sacrestia” thanks to accurate restoration work. In the 18th century the building housed the Crown Inn, a place reserved almost exclusively for foreign people who used not only to taste the deliciousness of the Venetian cuisine, but to stay in a charming elegant context.
Nowadays, in the restaurant, you can live an uncommon experience stepped not only in history but also in the stories and daily events of those who, through the centuries, brought the place to life.