Green and fragrant online classes, coming to you from the oldest garden of Venice

Welcome to La Spezeria, our spice atelier located in a private garden in Venice! Come in and discover historical recipes, healing beauty food, spices and fragrances!

For more than 1500 years, Venice was a merchant hub, where spices arrived from the Levant and spice mixtures were created and sold all over Europe: The art of using herbs and spices to create wellness + beauty products, natural remedies and delicious food was developed in Venice! These natural recipes come in useful in our times of surplus and negligence. Discover the art of ancient apothecaries and spice masters, and elevate your health, beauty and food in a natural way.

In our online classes, we share the ORIGINAL Venetian recipes between the 9th and 18th century: Learn how to use herbs and spices to reach immediate well-being and long-term health. And explore Venice along the way!

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Our work and atelier was featured on:

About our green and fragrant online classes

from Janice Mancuso - the Italian Historical Society of America

"JoAnn Locktov has compiled a Venice Gift Guide: To assist Venetians during recovery after the flood, she writes, “One of the ways to really help the Venetian artisans is to support them through on-line orders … I’m hoping that people refer to it throughout the year.” Although all are beautiful, my favorite is La Venessiana, offering e-books and online courses. The instructors are family members Iris and Lina, and their passion for Venice is illustrated through the exquisite photographs and articles about life in Venice posted on their website." ~ Janice Mancuso, The Italian Historical Society of America

More about us

Approximately 55,000 Venetians live in the historic center. Their numbers are down from 150,000 two centuries ago but this core of residents holds a deep love for their home, not least the writer, slow food expert and Venetian Iris Loredan. Iris and her grandmother are passionate to show people that there's much, much more to Venice than just St Mark's, beautiful though it is. So they write about the hidden, private side of Venice. From courtyard gardens to secet orchards, medicinal botany to vegetable patches. Most lie behind anonymus, vertiginous, red brick walls, totally unknown to passers-by or their guidebooks, and astonishingly gardens cover almost half the surface area of the city. Often the only clue you'll have to being near a secret sanctuary is a waft of heavy vanilla, Jasmine or lemon balm as you pass by. And most of the time you're probably no more than just a few feet away from an old vineyard, an ageing convent garden or, as Iris puts it, the second Venice, known only to residents. If you're lucky she'll take you there through her writing or in person. And if we're lucky Venice, her history and her gardens will survive in the safe hands of Venetians like Iris and her grandmother Lina.

Elizabeth Salthouse on L'Italo-Americano