No Italian city is as instantly recognisable as Venice, thanks to its unique waterways and the gondola transport system that ferries tourists around the city. If you’re thinking of travelling to Venice, but you’re unsure if it’s worth your time, you’ll find an all-out luxury crash course right here. We’ve spared no expense in detailing everything from your flight plans to accommodation, dinner, and some extra surprises along the way.
Planning Your Flight
Every luxurious retreat starts with careful planning. Plan your flight to Venice as far in advance as you can to secure the exact travel arrangements that suit you best and, of course, to have longer to look forward to your trip. Many use a travel agent as having someone curate the best deals for reaching the world’s most popular destinations is the epitome of travelling in style! But for some time now, online services have allowed users to retain some control while the system does the hard work for them.
As one of the more popular tourist cities, flight options to Venice abound. If you were to check Opodo flights to Venice, you’d find flights from all the main UK airports with a range of airlines, from budget to national flag carriers, leaving you free to travel exactly how and when you choose.
However, before you leave, you should also book your place in one of Venice’s many five-star hotels.
Five Star Hotels
After booking your flight to Italy, you should find accommodation for yourself. Fortunately, Venice’s reputation means that it’s a bustling city full to the brim with five-star hotels to choose from. Remember that you should expect pricier bills for these luxury hotels, especially for longer stays at them.
For some of the most luxurious accommodations in all of Venice, you can scope out The Gritti Palace Hotel or the Belmond Hotel Cipriani.
Once called the Palazzo Pisani Gritti, the Gritti Palace Hotel was first built in the 1300s, though its Venetian gothic architecture was part of a facelift performed in the later 1400s. It was once the residence of the Doge, Venice’s historical head of state. It’s located on the Grand Canal’s north side, across from the Santa Maria della Salute. As a modern hotel, it’s part of Marriott International’s Luxury Collection. It has 82 rooms, ten of which are suites, along with two restaurants and two bar lounges.
Then there’s the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, situated on the island of Giudecca. It’s accessed by a hotel-operated checkpoint in the Piazza San Marco. It doesn’t have the long history that the Gritti Palace does, being founded in 1958, but the Venetian hotel often tops out global hotel rankings. The founder, Giuseppe Cipriani, was the renowned chef responsible for opening Harry’s Bar, which is famous for its celebrity patronage. It’s also home to Oro Restaurant, a Michelin-star winner designed by famed interior architect Adam Tihany. The hotel has 96 rooms which start at approximately £1,100.
Restaurants In Venice
Next, you’ll want to figure out your dinner plans. Fortunately, there are a lot of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city. We already mentioned Oro Restaurant, located in the Hotel Cipriani, but they also have the Cip’s Club which is another star winner. Both specialise in classic and contemporary Italian cuisine. Naturally, Venice is great for seafood restaurants too, such as Hostaria da Franz and Corte Sconta, both located nearby, next to the city’s Arsenale.
The Islands Of Venice
Venice is a very compact city with lots to offer, but it is also home to some luxurious islands. Giudecca is one of these islands, but it’s closest and most incorporated into the city, and we’ve already mentioned its best attractions. Alongside Giudecca, there are also Murano, Burano and Torcello nearby.
All of these are located to the north of Venice proper, as opposed to Giudecca in the south. Murano is the largest and best known of these three, considered a quieter retreat from the main island that still looks and feels like Venice. In reality, Murano is seven smaller islands with its own Grand Canal running through it. It’s famous for its glassmaking, with the Museo del Vetro detailing the island’s history. From Venice, Murano can be a ten-minute vaporetto ride away.
Meanwhile, Burano is further north and is said to be one of Italy’s prettiest towns. This is because it’s an idyllic fishing village with bright, multi-coloured houses. It’s a glimpse at the quieter side of Venetian life, less influenced by tourists and so more authentic. Just like Murano, Burano has its own cottage industry that kept it afloat historically – lace. Tourists can buy lace products and visit the Museo del Merletto, the lace museum. Otherwise, the island’s colourful houses and its leaning 17 Century bell tower of San Martino are the main attractions here.
Lastly, Torcello will be of interest to history fanatics. Neighbouring Burano, Torcello was largely abandoned in favour of the larger, more affluent islands in the past, but it’s home to many landmarks. The local Museum of Torcello enlightens visitors on this island’s historical and political importance.
Full of high-end hotels, restaurants, and historical landmarks, Venice is the ultimate luxury retreat in many people’s eyes. Venice doesn’t just have the most luxurious hotel or a vibrant restaurant scene, it also has many quiet areas full of authentic culture and preserved history. A quiet place to escape the bustle of the city is important for a retreat, and Venice’s surrounding islands have them in spades.