Venice. “Its temples and palaces did seem like fabrics of enchantments piled to the heavens,” the poet Percy Shelly wrote. Of course, today’s travelers don’t need Shelly to tell them that La Serenissima is filled with treasures, from the Renaissance paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese inside the Doge’s palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica to the gorgeous palazzos that line its canals. Baglioni Hotel Luna—poised on the edge of Piazza San Marco—is a gem among them. Believed to be the city’s oldest hotel, the palazzo dates back to 1118 and once sheltered the Knights Templar.
Today, the property is just as glorious as ever. Inside, guests will find precious antiques, priceless works of art, and polished marble floors. You can savor breakfast with cappuccinos, fresh pastries, fruit, and cheese in the Marco Polo dining room under the gaze of elaborate ceiling frescoes attributed to students of 18th century painter, Tiepolo. Rooms and suites are adorned by damask wallpaper, Murano glass chandeliers, and sumptuous brocade fabrics. Many have unrivaled views of Piazza San Marco, the lagoon, and Venice’s outer islands.
Guests receive a truly magical Italian experience in a truly magical Italian city.
“The unique charm of Baglioni Hotel Luna is its intimate, romantic setting in the historic heart of Venice paired with the incredible views of San Giorgio Island and the San Marco Basin,” says general manager, Gianmatteo Zampieri. “Guests receive a truly magical Italian experience in a truly magical Italian city.”
All the hotel’s rooms and suites are gorgeous, but book the Giorgione Terrace Suite on the top floor and you can add on the exclusive Codega Veneta experience. A bit like a cicerone (the Italian word for guide), codegas were the mysterious figures from ancient Venice who’d use lanterns to light the way for people walking through the city’s narrow lanes after dark. Now, as the crowded streets and piazzas clear out after the sunset, after the shops have closed and the merchants at the Rialto Market have packed up their wares, you can recapture some of this magic with a walking tour led by a Venetian codega. Making your way through the maze-like streets, you’ll notice the empty gondolas tied up at the docks, spy carnival masks waiting behind darkened shop windows, and feel a palpably different energy coursing through the city after dark. With your codega lighting the way, you can imagine what the city must have been like long before electricity.
Soak up the city’s romantic energy before returning to the hotel for a gourmet dinner at Canova Restaurant on the ground floor. There, executive chef Alberto Rossetti has devised a menu that highlights fresh local ingredients like the tiny shrimp found in the waters of the lagoon, which he serves with polenta and artichokes. Whatever you do, don’t skip dessert.