Old World Italy On Our Doorstep


When I think of Renaissance Italy, I think of the Old Masters. The talented painters who sometimes lead and even became symbols of religious reform. I think of Caravaggio challenging the status quo, going against the norm in his commissions for the clergy, but eventually breaking free from those commissions and from the confines of each city he visited. I think of the paintings, the detail, the light and where they are currently on display, in preeminent museums around the world and old churches throughout Italy, and most of all, I think of what they represent. 

A trip to Renaissance Italy

Vanitas, in the Palazzo Versace, Dubai is based on Renaissance Italy...like if you were to travel back in time to have dinner in Milan in the late 15th century, and your hosts put on a show with fine decor, fine tableware and extremely fine dining. The setting is incredibly ornate; the Versace home furniture and tableware gives a real sense of occasion and fresh roses on each table add to the romantic flare.

Is there anything more romantic than Renaissance Italy?

The right blend of old and new

While this is very much a modern concept, the blend of old and new is evident in the design of the restaurant; the ceiling and murals on the walls were all hand-painted by artists who made the trip from Italy on no less than six occasions to complete the job. The iconic Versace Medusa head is omnipresent on the tableware and throughout the restaurant. Indeed, there are Renaissance ornaments of the Medusa, not least Caravaggio's famous painting.

Versace Medusa - Look Familiar?

Medusa By Caravaggio 2

'We want to transport diners to Italy through gourmet food'

The food is treat after treat. We sampled the chefs suggestions, see photos below. You can choose from options like Grilled Octopus or Seared Scallops Carpaccio to start; Coral Lobster Chitarra or Risotto Cacciucco  for Primi Patti; then Lacquered Monkfish or Seared Beef Sirloin for Secondi. 

"At Vanitas we pride ourselves on providing a truly traditional Italian experience. From the tried and tested Italian recipes to the signature ingredients and touches, we want to transport diners to Italy through gourmet food”

Andrea Gaia, Chef de Cuisine at Vanitas,

Green Zucchini Cream 

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Raw Cuttlefish Ravioli

Raw Cuttle Fish Ravioli

Seared Marinated Scallops

Two of the best desserts you will have in Dubai - without any doubt. Impossible to choose. 


Lemon & Basil Crescent

Worth a visit?

100%. Save it for a special occasion or if you want to impress. Vanitas is open seven days a week, lunch sittings take place from 12.30pm – 3pm and dinner from 7pm – 11pm. It's not cheap, see prices below. 

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Written By

Richard Fitzgerald

Rich is a media fiend who hasn't been seen without an iPhone in hand since 2007. With a passion for all things health and fitness, what he lacks in hair he more than makes up for in creativity. As the founder of Lovin Dubai, he's our fearless leader.