Best City Secret

Basilica di San Pietro di Castello

This first Venetian Basilica, situated in the largely residential neighborhood of Castello, has stood in this site since the 7th century.

Best Cultural Secret
Printing Shops
In the 1500s, Venice was the capital of publishing and printing, especially San Polo. Walk to Rio Terra Secondo to see the former printing press of Aldo Manuzio, the inventor of italic type (it’s at number 2311 in the palazetto).
Top Architecture Find
Chiesa di San Pantalon
The church is capped by an incredibly intricate painted ceiling by artist Giovanni Antonio Fumiani, who died during its creation and is buried on the property. (39-041) 523-5893.
Museum Must-See
Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation
Arty types gather at this two-story gallery, which dates back to 1888. Expect contemporary and historic exhibitions featuring artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Frida Kahlo. (39-04) 15-23-78-19;
Best Newcomer
Palazzo Grimani
This newly restored marble palace hosts rotating exhibitions, but the building itself is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture. (39-41) 52-00-345;
What to Buy
Chocolate from VizioVirtù
Dragées (cocoa-covered candied fruit and nuts), semi-freddos and mousse make this sleek shop a chocolate lover’s dream. Try the Juliette Binoche, dedicated to the actress who starred in the film "Chocolat." (39-04) 12-44-03-01;
Best Activity/Excursion
Island Hopping
Motorboat tours of the lagoon include stops at the islands of Murano (for glassmaking shops), Burano (to see the lace-makers) and Torcello (with its Byzantine churches).
Best Cocktail with a View
Linea d’Ombra
Right on the Grand Canal, this beloved piano bar is a peaceful place to sip coffee or wine; in the evening you can watch live Jazz and funk performances. (33-041) 241-1881;


Bauer Palazzo

Venice, Italy

When hotelier Francesca Bortolotto Possati took over Venice's legendary Bauer, brought to international renown by her grandfather in the 1940s, she decided to turn it into two distinctive properties: Bauer’s L'Hotel and Bauer’s Il Palazzo. Housed in a restored, 18th-century palazzo, the Bauer L’Hotel is the more contemporary of the two, with art deco-inspired interiors and an urban vibe. The craftsmanship behind the striking design is unmistakably Venetian, as are such touches as Rubelli and Bevilacqua fabrics and original works of art by local artists. La Serenissima also takes center-stage at De Pisis, the acclaimed restaurant from which diners can watch the gondolas gliding down the Grand Canal.

In the heart of Venice, the property is within walking distance to the major monuments and cultural highlights.

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Baglioni Hotel Luna

Venice, Italy

Like a character from a Donna Leon novel, the Baglioni Hotel Luna is cloaked in history. A stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square, the palazzo dates to 1118, and throughout the years has undergone transformations from a convent into an aristocratic palace and even a shelter for the Knights Templar. Today’s hotel brims with original details, like ornate stucco walls, Murano chandeliers, watercolor paintings and gold fixtures. In the Marco Polo ballroom, reimagined as a spectacular dining room, the original ceiling frescoes are attributed to pupils of Tiepolo, the 18th century Venetian painter. Instead of playing second fiddle to the priceless art throughout, the culinary offerings hold their own, especially at award-winning Canova restaurant, renowned for its menu and extensive wine cellar from St. Mark’s Square, the Baglioni Hotel Luna is cloaked in Venetian history.

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Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa

Venice, Italy

Housed in a historic palace originally designed by renowned Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, this boutique hotel reopened in 2006 after a complete and doting restoration undertaken by its owning family. Set on Venice's Giudecca Island (historically Venice's garden place), the retreat is complemented by an all-natural organic spa with holistic treatments and rituals for couples and friends. The rooms and suites are decorated with floral tapestries in pastel palettes and adorned with terraces overlooking either the gardens or the lagoon. Best of all is the experience upon arriving via the hotel's solar-powered boat: the atmosphere and sounds of the garden immediately propel guests into an oasis of serenity.

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