Combining both of her visits in 1856-1857 and 1861-1862 Empress Elisabeth stays in the city on the Grand Canal for more than eight months. On her second visit, she has just come from the Greek island Corfu and takes advantage of this "stopover" for half a year. Sisi loves the lagoon city. She shows great interest in the city, undertakes much sightseeing and takes walks in the winter on the sandbar, the Lido.
Likewise, the people of Venice love Sisi, especially her beauty, her charm and her warm and open manner. A famous scene from the “Sissi” movies plays in Venice and shows Romy Schneider as the young empress and mother: Dressed in a gorgeous robe the graceful and tender young woman at Doge’s Palace walks toward her child, ready to embrace – and with this scene wins the hearts of the Italians forever. Elisabeth’s presence in Venice also serves political purposes.
After many years of restoration, the nine rooms of the Imperial Apartments of Franz Joseph and Elisabeth can once again be visited in the Correr Museo at Piazza San Marco. “Le stanze di Sissi” offer a magnificent view across the lagoon. Small balconies facing the Bacino di San Marco, the body of water in front of Venice’s most famous square, provide a glimpse of St. Mark’s Basilica. From here, the church bells can be heard.
During her visits to the lagoon city Sisi also received guests in the audience room. Her favorite flower, lily of the valley, adorns her personal dressing room in the “imperial wing” in both paintings and stuccoes. In the designed ceilings of the room, many mythological themes can be recognized, especially concerning the topic of beauty.
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