magazine | Travel | City Guides

Your Guide to 16 of Venice, Italy's Most Beautiful Spots

This year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice has been buzzed about nonstop around the globe since its late May opening. This year’s theme is FREESPACE, and you’ll find exhibitions throughout the city that inspire and explore concepts of public space and generosity.

While we highly recommend a visit to the entries from the Vatican – ten chapels designed by a dozen architects and set in a woodsy garden – there are 71 participants in this year’s lineup and there’s plenty to pop into your agenda. If you’re looking for places to stay and things to do while in the beautiful city for the biennale, which is on through November, we’ve got you covered.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
Photo:Aman Venice
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Aman Venice learn more

Located on Venice’s Grand Canal, this Aman property is ornate, luxurious and filled with glamorous details. The 16th century palace has just two-dozen rooms and the digs are sure to make you feel like you’ve landed in another era.
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The Gritti Palace

Venice, Italy
In all its Venetian grandeur, The Gritti Palace offers opulent rooms set right along the city’s bustling canals. Spend the day enjoying the biennale and take your afternoon spritzers on the terrace overlooking the historic waterways.
Photo:Belmond Hotel Cipriani
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Belmond Hotel Cipriani learn more

If you’re thinking all-the-way-luxury is how you’d like to spend your Venice Biennale experience, check out Belmond Hotel Cipriani. Here you’ll find a bevvy of outdoor terraces and pools, beautiful gardens and absolutely glamorous suites.
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JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

Venice, Italy
Arguably the most modern resort you’ll find in Venice, the JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa sits on its very own island. There’s a gorgeous pool and deck overlooking the waterways, and the spa here is incredible.
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Harry’s Bar

Venice, Italy
Located in the Hotel Cipriani, Harry’s Bar has a reputation for being a place to see and be seen on the San Marco waterfront. The first bar to serve a Bellini, this spot is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Photo: Casa Flora
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Casa Flora

Venice, Italy
More of a home than a hotel, Casa Flora is a boutique hotel space that’s comfortable and filled with beautiful furnishings. With just nine rooms, the service feels both familial and authentic. Read more about Casa Flora →
Photo: Jen Davidson
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Osteria All’Arco

Venice, Italy
Venice is all about the cicchetti (small bites), and this spot stacks up. Osteria All’Arco is a good go-to for an easy spread of Venetian delicacies and a good glass of wine while on break from all the biennale festivities.
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Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Venice, Italy
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is always worth a walk through while in Venice, but this year’s biennale correlates with the museum’s 70th anniversary. In celebration, the collection is harkening back to its roots and presenting a tribute to the original 1948 spaces and layout of the museum.
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The Rubelli Archives

Venice, Italy
Textiles, wall coverings and furnishings that date back to the end of the fifteenth century are on display at Venice’s Rubelli Archives. This spot is by-appointment only and makes a fabulous complementary trip to round out the architecture you’ll be enjoying via the biennale.
Photo: Casa Burano
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Casa Burano

Burano, Italy
Casa Burano sits on a colorful little island in Venice and plays host to guests looking for a luxurious stay that isn’t too OTT. This spot is small, and it’s the kind of place where you’ll meet the gardener, the lacemaker, the baker and a whole cast of characters during your biennale stay.

San Clemente Palace Kempinski

Venice, Italy
Just a ten-minute water taxi ride from Piazza San Marco, San Clemente Palace Kempinski sits on a private island. There’s a gorgeous spa on-site and the suites have an almost yacht-like feel with their giant windows overlooking the canals.
Photo: Rossi Writes
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Gallerie dell’Accademia

Venice, Italy
Renaissance works of Carpaccio, Bellini, Titian and Tintoretto are on display at this magnificent gallery in the Sestiere Dorsoduro district. Originally part of the art school, and housed in the former Santa Maria della Carità church and convent, the architecture here by Andrea Palladio is itself a feat worth wandering.
Photo:Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Palazzo Fortuny

Venice, Italy
For those left wanting more interiors while visiting the Venice Biennale, a stopover to the collections of Mariano Fortuny is a must. The palace is a tribute to the legendary Fortuny fabric company founder, artist and visionary.
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Ca’ Macana

Venice, Italy
If the biennale has you feeling inspired to be creative, head over to Ca’ Macana for classic Venetian mask making classes. This town has a rich history of artisan crafts and you won’t find a better spot to get a lesson in both history and art.
Photo: La Calcina
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La Calcina

Venice, Italy
A fine, old Venice hotel that sits on the Giudecca Canal in the Zattere, La Calcina is home to charming Italian suites filled with beautiful antiques. The location is awesome for exploring the biennale and the restaurant sits right on the water, serving up a menu of delicious Mediterranean eats.
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Museo Storico Navale

Venice, Italy
You might be visiting Venice to check out the architecture of temporary structures, but the historic naval ships that are on display at this museum are also worth a browse. Head to Museo Storico Navale when you’re looking to sneak away from the crowds and trek off into one of the city’s lesser-known gems.

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