Today, the colors and rich decorative traditions of Venice still run in our veins. At Porte Italia, descendants and devotees of the same craftsmen whose original woodwork, painting and design still grace the villas of Palladio and palazzos along Venice’s Grand Canal, are once again using furniture, chandeliers, walls, ceilings and doors as their canvas.
Using Venice-inspired colors, finishes and decorations, we are bringing old-world Italian handcrafted design and quality back to the new world order of modern interiors. Courtesy of the Lenarduzzi Family and the American designer Mrs. Ann Graham, who resurrected the art form over 30 years ago. Porte Italia.
Mr. Lenarduzzi had only to look to his own backyard for the master craftsmen and artists to make it happen.
You see, every region of Italy has its own traditional cottage industry. And for over 400 years, ours has been painting and decoration for the finest homes, villas and palaces in the world. All by hand.
From tiny home studios and paint-perfumed garages, they came. Descendants of the masters. Classically trained graduates of the region’s finest art institutes. A legion of talent eager to apply their brushes to the furniture, frescos, ceilings and doors of their forefathers – the kind still on display at Venice’s Ca’ Rezzonico Museum. The only furniture in the world that sings in fluent Italian.
With our team of local artisans led by Enrico, Emilio and Claudia Lenarduzzi who own and operate the business as a family company today, Porte Italia has launched a Renaissance of its own.
Venice is our home.
This city represents an amazing daily source of inspiration for us,
this is why we decided to open a brand new showroom.
A refreshing human business.
This is very much a family-run company. One that has taken the innovative approach of enlisting an entire village to turn it into the unique and successful enterprise it is today.
Enrico, his son Emilio and the co-villagers who shape this company’s furniture into works of art all live and work here – just beyond the beautiful lagoons that surround the island of Venice where Porte Italia’s showroom is located. And when Enrico and Emilio are not traveling the world to assist their customers or manning the company’s bustling Venice showroom in Campo Santo Stefano, you will find them in their hometown in Friuli – almost always in the company of their special team of neighbors, schoolmates and friends from Terzo di Aquileia.
A visit to Porte Italia’s hometown is filled with unique sights, sounds and flavors you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Extraordinary flavors and local wines are always on the menu for visiting designers and clients. Enrico’s childhood friend and vintner Franco enthusiastically conducts personal tours of his winery, complete with guided tastings of his highly popular Friulano wines which rarely find their way out of the region. And a charming entourage of lifelong friends and family stand ready to celebrate guests with a glass of Prosecco or the region’s deep red Refosco – a favorite of both Casanova and Roman writer-philosopher Pliny the Elder.
The family-run Porte Italia business and culture is a refreshingly human one for all who work here – and for the clients who make the effort to get to know the family and people behind our beautiful creations. A true old-world “village” approach to making beautiful things and enjoying the journey together.
“Every project is a new canvas, every design a custom work of art.”
At Porte Italia, there is no factory. And no two pieces are exactly alike. Because every piece is still built, painted and gracefully aged to look as if it was born in 18th Century Venice.
At the direction of our master decorative painter (whose name, predictably, is Leonardo), each Porte Italia creation is a bespoke masterpiece. Made to the exact custom specifications of designers from London, Paris, Milan, the US, the Middle East & India. And often in concert with other Venetian families whose companies have been in business since Marco Polo was a boy.
250-year-old silk and fabric design companies. Murano glass-blowers. Mosaic inlays crafted by ceramic masters who restore the floors, walls and frescos of ancient churches and Roman ruins that punctuate our beautiful countryside.
Our design partners are international icons of the industry. And our customers are royal families, film and music stars, business leaders and other celebrities whose names we never disclose.
The only painted furniture in the world still produced in the 18th Century Venetian style.
Porte Italia’s exquisite collections of chairs, tables, beds, armoires and their decorations and colors are all inspired by the magical painted surfaces and finishes of old Venice – as well as original works of painted art, frescos and furniture which can now only be seen in Italy’s finest museums and private villas.
Art in the form of furniture. Furnishings and frescos painted the same way our ancestors did – in the classic 18th Century Venetian style. For interior design statements on a scale the world has not seen since Venice was the epicenter of trade and culture between Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Porte Italia. For designers looking to make a statement and a name for themselves and their clientele, this is once again the furniture of captains and kings.
Did you know? The birth of the Venetian painted arts.
Marco Polo & the Beetles
In the late 1200s, a young Marco Polo returned to Venice from his first trade expedition to the Far East with samples of a style of furniture that dazzled the city’s style-makers, and subsequently became the most popular furniture art form in all of Europe. Chinoiserie. Ornate Chinese chests, chairs and armoires whose intricate shapes and hand-painted decorations were exquisitely sealed with dozens of coats of polished lacquer. Made exclusively from the wings of Chinese beetles.
The furniture makers of Italy’s Venezia and Friuli regions were so enthralled with Chinoiserie that they spent the next 400 years perfecting their own Italian version – with raised gesso decorative finishes made of plaster and rabbit skin glue.