Historic Venice hotel back to life

Hotel Des Bains reopens

ROME — The Venice Lido’s Hotel Des Bains, a favorite of many attending the Venice Film Festival, is back in biz six weeks after a fire ripped through its central section prompting alarm as to whether the historic structure would reopen by fest time.

For the moment, just 70 out of 190 rooms of the posh seaside hotel where Luchino Visconti shot “Death in Venice” are catering to customers.

But work is swiftly proceeding on the remainder of the Palladian building. “We expect the reconstruction to be fully completed by the end of July,” a Des Bains spokeswoman told Daily Variety on Tuesday.

“In any event there is absolutely no doubt that by the time the Venice Film Festival begins in September, the Des Bains will be fully operational,” she added.

As for the ambiance, the 10 rooms incinerated on the second, third and fourth floors of the landmark Lido hotel by the four-hour fire in February are being rebuilt to original specifications. The flames are believed to have been caused by a defective electrical circuit.

In separate Venice news, artistic topper Marco Mueller last week announced that Italo film critic and radio personality Enrico Magrelli has become his right-hand man.

The 65th edition of the venerable Venice fest will run August 27-Sept. 6.

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