Venice - the city of love, romantic corners and endless inspiration ...
The 6th ESSENS birthday celebration, which took place over the extended weekend from 13 th to 15 th
October 2017 in the exclusive Molino Stucky Venice Hilton Hotel in fascinating Venice, rightfully
endearing on the UNESCO World Heritage List, was for many guests an inspiration. The guests had a
unique opportunity to explore the most romantic city in the world, lined with rich history,
intertwined with picturesque streets, mysterious canals, and fascinating architecture of the unique
buildings emerging from the sea lagoon.
The Friday´s program began shortly after the noon, when guests gathered on the dock near
Tronchetto to board a private boat to the Hilton Hotel, standing on the tranquil shore of Giudecca
Island in the former mills building. In the afternoon, the boat went to the famous St. Mark´s Square,
where a private tour of the impressive St. Mark´s Basilica was accompanied by an engaging
interpretation of the tourist guides. It belongs to the best preserved buildings of Byzantine
architecture and boasts with a richly decorated interior with gold mosaics covering an area of 4,000
square meters, depicting scenes from the New Testament.
The Friday ended with an excellent dinner at the renowned Antico Pignolo Restaurant, where the
famous Summertime movie with Katherine Hepburn was shot in 1955. The house where the
restaurant is located dates back to 1200, originally served as a blacksmith´s workshop, followed by a
bakery for an adjacent monastery, and during the boom of the Venetian Empire, the premises served
for the sale of oriental spices brought to Europe by the legendary silk roads. During the 20th century,
Antico Pignolo changed into a prestigious restaurant for a significant clientele.
Saturday morning was once again devoted to the mainland and strolling through the picturesque
streets, accompanied by the interpretation of the guides. Among the sights were the most famous
buildings of the residence of the Venice rulers, the 99 m high Bell Tower, the Doge Palace and the
magnificent Renaissance building of St. Mark´s Library, where rare books and manuscripts are saved.
Two columns from the 12th century on the waterfront were not left unnoticed, with one of the
columns with standing winged lion on it, the symbol of Venice. The tour was really charming thanks
to the entire city being full of beautiful buildings, galleries and bridges.
The true unusual experience, however, came only when the whole group of guests moved to a
gondola pier where twenty smiling gondoliers with their gondolas were floating on the water,
gradually setting off on a stunning sail through ubiquitous channels. This voyage has left many with
feelings of astonishment, romance and fascination over the art of medieval master architects.
After the amazing sail on gondolas, a three-course lunch followed in the renowned Al Colombo Rialto
restaurant, set in the heart of the beautiful city. The restaurant had been preparing delicious dishes
for their guests for over 700 years and behind the curtains of a rich history, young ambitious chefs
prepare their menus for their costumers. After the delicious lunch, it was time to go to the hotel to
start the final preparations for the festive gala evening.
For the gala evening itself, all the guests carefully prepared themselves and arrived in traditional
Venetian masks. After the opening speech and ceremonial toast from Mr. Michal Kovář, the guests,
accompanied by a string quartet and seven artists dressed in rich Venetian costumes, strolled to the
hotel´s ball room to enjoy the excellent four-course menu of the hotel chef´s master. Dinner was
enhanced by gentle opera arias and a historic dance shows.
The highlight of the evening was the award and reward ceremony for the most successful leaders of
the past year, giving thanks to valuable guests and the ESSENS owners.
In the dazzling light of dozens of camera flashes, Mrs. Ivana Kovářová Štěpánová, the general director
ESSENS, cut the five-storey birthday cake, symbolically taking the first step to the next, seventh year
of our successful company.
Before the official announcement of free entertainment, accompanied by recorded music, Mr.
Michal Kovář introduced the exciting video from St. Petersburg as a small taste of planned 7th
ESSENS Anniversary celebration.