Venice or ‘La Serenissima’, as she was known for thousands of years, is truly one of the most seductive and beguiling places anywhere in the world.
Built on more than 117 low-lying islands, this unique city is a water wonderland divided by over 100 canals and spanned by more than 400 bridges. And whilst life on her stunning waterways is still evolving today, the ancient monuments, museums, churches, art galleries and spires will all entice you to explore her glorious past. Wonder at the audacity of Casanova, delve into the secrets of the Council of Ten or marvel at the talent of incredible painters like Canaletto and Paolo Veneziano. Whatever you decide to do, just like it did with Goethe, Mann and Browning before you, Venice can’t fail to capture your imagination and seduce you with her beauty…
“The Orient-Express train is the only way to travel. It is super luxurious and combines with the Hotel Cipriani for a perfect stay. Did you know you can also book it for the return journey to London?”
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•Discover an unknown Venice and the Venetian way of life on a walking tour with a local Venetian.
•Visit the islands of Venice, including a behind closed doors visit to the Murano Glass factory.
•Enjoy your very own private visit of the Basilica San Marco, no crowds, just you and your guide
•Take a romantic Gondola tour and enjoy a candlelit dinner at Bistrot de Venice
When to visit November through to January is quieter though the chilly Adriatic winter means you’ll need to wrap up warm, however, February is carnival season. March to June is a nice temperature but can be busy, where July to August are the hottest months. September to October is a little cooler and little quieter, ideal.
How to get there British Airways fly to Venice daily from London with low cost airlines offering alternative timings and direct departures from Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. From Marco Polo airport it is 40 minute taxi and a water taxi to most of the canal side hotels.
Can there be a better way to arrive in Venice than aboard this luxury train? The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is quite simply a legend, an Art Deco icon where romance, adventure and style combine to create a rail journey unlike any other. The moment you step on board you’ll be transported to a more elegant age of travel, the vintage mood enhanced by the spectacular scenery of the Swiss Alps and Italian Dolomites.
No self-respecting brochure on Italy would be complete without The Cipriani, one of the most famous hotels in the world, not just in Venice. Its tranquil location on Giudecca Island is stunningly beautiful, yet it lies only 4-minutes away from St. Mark’s Square by private launch and has the breath-taking views to prove it.
The Gritti Palace is an icon of grace, elegance and opulence in a city sinking under the weight of hotels boasting such charms. Since its magnificent 15 month, multi-million pound restoration, this historic palace, sat on the Grand Canal, offers amongst the ver y highest levels of luxur y accommodation and service in this historic city.
Three former palaces make up the Hotel Danieli, ensuring guests are swept up in a grand, aristocratic, Italian embrace. With panoramic views overlooking the lagoon and with St. Mark’s Square literally around the corner, you are in the historic thick of it.
Bauer Palazzo, located on the Grand Canal, a short distance from the city’s main attractions and designer shops, is a luxurious hotel housed in a 19th century Venetian building. Behind arched lancet windows and a Gothic façade, the hotel’s spacious 135 guest rooms and 56 suites, many of which feature private balconies or terraces, are exquisitely decorated in the Venetian style, with fine fabrics, gilded mirrors, carved stucco ceilings and Murano glass chandeliers.
Situated just moments from the Piazza San Marco and with picture perfect views over the San Marco basin, this former magnificent 12th century Venetian palazzo is the oldest hotel in Venice and is reputed to have played host to the Knights Templar. Cloaked in Venetian history dating back to 1118, today the hotel has been transformed from an aristocratic palace to a home from home that is the very definition of Italianate grandeur.
Another example of Venice’s living histor y, The Ca’ Sagredo lies in a 15th century palace on the Grand Canal between Ca D’Oro and the Rialto Bridge. It opened as a hotel in 2007 after a painstaking restoration which uncovered a host of architectural treasures. The Ca’ Sagredo has been declared a national monument and still preserves the untouched beauty of an ancient noble residence.
Water-fronted directly onto the Grand Canal, Aman promises unparalleled luxury set in the heart of Venice, just steps from the Rialto Bridge. This regal, 16th century Palazzo is home to museum-quality treasures from gilded ceilings to the leather wall coverings, creating a setting just as romantic as the city itself.
Standing majestically at the edge of Venice’s lagoon, with stunning views over San Giorgio Island, this family run hotel is located just steps from the Biennale d’arte and Piazza San Marco. Cloaked with history from the 18th centur y, this elegant villa was once home to Vivaldi and has since been restored to a romantic and eccentric boutique hotel lavished with grand furnishings, murano glass chandeliers, historic antiques and fine arts.
This glorious hotel could not be more perfectly located. Overlooking the Grand Canal in the wonderfully historic and romantic center of Venice, it dates from the sixteenth century and former tenants include the Mozart family and the King of Denmark, Frederick Christian IV. Adorned with mythological figures by Zelotti, its tranquil rooms and enchanting ambiance perfectly encapsulates the magic of this most magical of cities.
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