venice skyline city guide

Italian-born writer, cook and photographer Valeria Necchio tells us how to do Venice properly.

“Venice has been painted and described many thousands of times, and of all the cities of the world is the easiest to visit without going there”, writes Henry James in his preface to Italian Hours.

There’s no doubt that there are few mysteries left to a city like Venice, a place that defeats change and holds on tight to its traditions and sense of eternity. It’s a city that, for centuries, has lived under the spotlight of the world’s elite, its very soul documented in all forms.

Nothing changes, nothing is undiscovered, and yet there always seems to be more to say, more to see. Every visit to the floating city is a surprise, or the pleasant confirmation that, despite the crowds and the tourist attractions, there simply isn’t another place like it.

The elusive nature of Venice means that a lot of its charm rests in the details – in the crumbly palazzi and quiet alleys; aspects that would be hard to include in a list of prescriptions. So make sure to walk, get lost, see the city at night and dawn, when it’s emptied of people: the details will come to you.

As for the rest – where to stay, eat, drink, shop, go – we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is show up hungry – for beauty, food, and romance.

TO STAY

Ca’ Maria Adele

Tucked away in tranquil, artsy Dorsoduro, this intimate boutique hotel combines Venetian opulence with modern, gothic and exotic accents. The five concept rooms (Doge, Moore, Noire, Oriental and Fireplace), feature dark damask fabrics and elaborate Murano chandeliers, and are at once stylish and pleasantly sumptuous. The deluxe rooms and two suites, while just as lavish, show a slightly subtler décor, with muted tones and raw materials that feel quintessentially urban.

Palazzina G

Exclusive while also less obvious than other options in the same price range (such as the Gritti, Bauer and Danieli) this contemporary five-star hotel has 16 rooms and six stylish suite apartments, some overlooking the Grand Canal and all discerningly decorated by French designer Philippe Starck. A highlight of the hotel is the Krug Terrace, which in the summer provides a privileged view over the rooftops of the city, plus plenty of quality bubbles.

San Clemente Palace Kempinsky

Open seasonally from early spring to late autumn, this fabled luxury hotel has been converted from an 11th-century monastery located on the bucolic, grass-carpeted private island of San Clemente, in Venice’s southern lagoon. Each of the 190 elegant rooms features all of the things you’d expect from a structure of this stature: charm, comfort, character, as well as a restful sight of the adjacent gardens. An impeccable choice if you need some respite from the crowds at some point during your stay.

Aman Venice

Venice’s first sever-star hotel and the only specimen of the Aman family in Italy, Aman Venice lies inside the illustrious Palazzo Papadopoli, a 16th-century building hosting, among its many treasures, frescos by Tiepolo and fireplaces by Sansovino. While the lounge and dining areas are grand and richly adorned in perfect palazzo style, the majority of the bedrooms showcase a current taste and a neutral, soothing palette. The hotel also has inner gardens and a hidden jetty, affording plenty of privacy for the occasional celebrity. Read our full review here.

  • +39 041 27 07333
  • Go to Website
  • Calle Tiepolo 1364
    Sestiere San Polo
    Venice
    30125

Ca’ Maria Adele

Palazzina G

San Clemente Palace Kempinsky

Aman Venice

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