The Venice Lido’s Hotel des Bains, a favorite of many attending the Venice Film Festival, has been seriously damaged by a four-hour fire that ripped through the facility early Tuesday.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which they said appeared to have been caused by a defective electrical circuit.
No one was injured as the beachfront hotel was closed for winter.
The Palladian structure where Luchino Visconti shot “Death in Venice,” using the original location of Thomas Mann’s novella, was undergoing renovations.
Flames incinerated at least 10 rooms on the second, third and fourth floors of the historic hotel built in 1900 and decorated with art nouveau furniture, Murano glass chandeliers and Persian carpets. The wood-paneled Sala Visconti ballroom, where many a lavish Venice fest dinner has been held, was untouched.
Hotel officials have yet to put an estimate on the damage, and it was not clear if the Des Bains will reopen in April as planned.
There was no immediate comment from the Venice Film Festival.
The Des Bains was sold by Starwood to asset management company EST Capital last month, just as the Lido embarks on a refurbishment centered around the Palazzo del Cinema, which begins construction this year.
In the early 1900s an entire wing of the huge hotel burned down and was rebuilt to its original specifications.