Fathom Favorites : Venice

1. Ca’ Sagredo Hotel

Ca’ Sagredo Hotel

Is it a palazzo? A museum? A hotel? Si, si, si. The common areas, which are anything but common, are breathtakingly beautiful – frescoed walls and ceilings, Murano glass chandeliers, a dramatic marble staircase. There are 42 rooms; try to reserve one overlooking the Grand Canal.

Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99

2. Casino Venier

Now home to L’Alliance Française and perfectly preserved with elaborate stuccos and Murano mirrors. Look for the hole in the elaborate marble floor: It came in handy for spying on those entering below.

Ponte dei Baretteri, 4939

3. Pasticceria Rosa Salva

Pasticceria Rosa Salva

This sweet cafe has been baking fruit tarts, cream puffs, and layered pastries since 1870.

Sestiere di S. Marco, 950

4. Venissa


For a special break from the crowd, this charming wine resort on the northern island of Mazzorbo. (Take vaporetto line 12 from Fondamenta Nove or arrange pick-up with the restaurant.) Start by wandering the island of Burano across the footbridge to see the colorful houses. Then make your way to the grounds at Venissa, exploring the property and the 14th-century bell tower before settling into an intimate dinner in the 18-seat dining room. The artful menu updates classic Venetian dishes in exquisite presentations. Every course has a dedicated chef. If you decide you can’t possibly leave, simply stay the night in one of the six cozy guest rooms.


Fondamenta di Santa Caterina,

5. Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace

This beautiful, intimidating Gothic building is where the rulers of Venice orchestrated mysterious and nefarious power plays. The ornate Golden Staircase (Scala d’Oro) leads to the Doge’s apartments, where the best things to see are Sala del Scudo, Sala Grimaldi, Sala del Senato, the old jail cells, and the corridor that leads to the Bridge of Sighs, so named for the last sad breath prisoners would take as they got their final view of Venice.

Piazza San Marco, 1

6. Saint Mark's Basilica

Overflowing with mosaics, marble, and a gold altar it can bee seen that Venice was just as influenced by the east as it was the west..

San Marco, 328

7. Quadri


Have a casual meal at abc Quadri in one of the city’s oldest and prettiest coffee houses or head to the more formal Ristorante Quadri in the opulent dining room upstairs. Ask for a table one row away from the windows for better views of the piazza.

Piazza San Marco 121

8. Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana

Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana

Here, art salutes knowledge: Veronese’s Plato and Aristotle, Tintoretto’s philosophers and prophets, the ceiling devoted to disciplines (geometry, sculpture) and virtues (honor, fortune).

Piazzetta S. Marco, 7

9. Museo Correr

Museo Correr

One of the city’s loveliest museums, notable for room after room of paintings about Venetian history. Fra Mauro’s 15th-century map of the world, upside-down and painted on parchment, is dazzling.

Piazza San Marco

10. Caffè Florian

Take your morning cappuccino and brioche in the piazza or under the arcade at this historic spot, where Venetians have been gathering and gossiping since 1720.

Piazza San Marco, 57

11. Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Instead of floor-to-ceiling frescoes, the walls of Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli are lined with panels of white and grey marble, evocative of a proto-Rothko chapel, giving it a surprisingly modern feel. 

Campo Santa Maria Nova

12. Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Look up inside Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo to see works by Bellini and Veronese. Look down to see the tombs of 25 doges who used to rule Venice.

Castello, 6363

13. Libreria Acqua Alta

A fun and sprawling book shop, past pretty Campo Santa Maria Formosa, where volumes in Italian and other languages are stacked floor to ceiling – and most dramatically in gondolas.

Calle Lunga Santa
Maria Formosa, 5176

14. Osteria Alle Testiere

One of the best fish restaurants in Venice specializes in what’s fresh and local. Reservations are a must, as there are very few tables.

Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801

15. Fondazione Querini Stampalia

A museum with a stunning collection of musical instruments, furniture, sculpture, and paintings like Gabriel Bella’s 67 Scenes of Venetian Life. There’s a lovely garden on the ground floor and public reading room and library (with free WiFi) that’s open on Sunday.

Santa Maria Formosa, 5252

16. Fondamenta Osmarin

A beautiful street in a formerly Greek neighborhood that’s close to the chaos of St. Mark’s Square but feels worlds away. Ponte de l’Osmarin is especially picturesque. Say formaggio!

Fondamenta de l'Osmarin
30122 Venice, Italy

17. San Zaccaria

San Zaccaria

A veritable art museum – paintings by Tintoretto and Vivarini covering every surface, with the occasional break for a marble column. The Chapel of St. Athanasius is lined with ornate carved wooden stalls from the mid 1400s.

Campo S. Zaccaria, 4693

18. Bar Longhi

Bar Longhi

The city’s best people watching is at Bar Longhi at the recently renovated and always glamorous Gritti Palace. Hemingway used to drink here. Of course.

Campo Santa Maria del Giglio

19. Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Before Guggenheims opened all over the world, there was the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Picasso, Duchamp, Mondrian, Kandinsky – all the heavy hitters of 20th-century art are on display in her former home.

Dorsoduro 701-704
Venice, 30123

20. Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Tucked away in a courtyard down Calle della Vida near Campo Manin you'll find a magnificent spiral staircase reminiscent of a snail (“bovolo”) as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was built in the 1400s so the Contarini family could show off. (Those Venetians.) You can climb up during the day or just admire from below. Another great way to see it is by moonlight: The marble seems to glow.

Calle delle Locande 4299
Venice, 30124

21. Teatro La Fenice

Teatro La Fenice

A magnificent opera house that has a full schedule of operas and concerts.

1965 Campo San Fantin
Venice, 30124

22. Al Covo

Al Covo

Where everyone feels like old friends. Blame the cozy wood beams, the low lighting, the welcoming staff, and, most of all, the seasonally-driven menu inspired by the fishy bounty of the lagoon.

3968 Castello
Venice, 30122

23. Casa Flora Venezia

Casa Flora Venezia

This boutique hotel defines a new concept of hospitality intrinsically connected with design. Renovated in the summer of 2015 by six students from schools like New York’s Parson School of Design, Milan’s Domus Academy, and Venice’s IUAV, the result explodes with vibrancy and elegance. Casa Flora offers an array of services — from homemade breakfast delivery to wine tasting class to an exclusive handmade shoe service. 

San Marco 2313
Venice, 30124

24. Villa F

Villa F

An intimate, grand, and discreet hotel on Giudecca Island with primo views onto San Marco and Punta Della Dogana. The 16th-century palazzo and former artists’ pensione is now eleven sumptuous mini apartments. Guests have access to the spa at Bauers Palladio across the shared garden.

Giudecca 50
Venice, 30133

25. Palazzina G

Palazzina G

Chic glamour is the mood at the Philippe Starck-designed inn that totally upped the cool factor of the Venetian hotel scene. It’s a big draw for celebs and boldface names, which may be why its Krug Lounge is only open to guests.

Ramo Grassi 3247
Venice, 30124

26. Gritti Palace

Gritti Palace

An extensive refurbishment made the 1475 palazzo on the Grand Canal even grander, preserving the original art and objects that fill the 82 rooms and public spaces. The Gritti Epicurean School taught by Club del Doge chef Daniele Turco, the Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Spa, and the Riva and Longhi bars are excellent reasons not to leave the compound.


Campo Santa Maria del Giglio
Venice, 30124

27. Hotel Danieli

Hotel Danieli

Many Venice hotels boast about being a former palazzo. But Danieli is three. Mere steps from St. Mark's, the hotel is on the larger side, with 210 rooms, a jaw-dropping lobby, and amazing views from Terrazza Danieli are simply amazing.

Riva degli Schiavoni 4196
Venice, 30122

28. Bauer Il Palazzo

Bauer Il Palazzo

Tucked behind 1950s temple Bauer Hotel is this opulent, exquisitely decorated 18th-century gem. The rooftop breakfast room Settimo Cielo has spectacular views, and canal-side De Pisis restaurant is one of the city's finest.

San Marco 1413/d
Venice, 30124

29. Aman Venice

Aman Venice

How does it get better than a grand Renaissance palazzo on the Grand Canal with original Tiepolo paintings on the ceilings? You add the signature Aman resorts touches: modern amenities, impeccable service, and attention to every single lasting detail.


Calle Tiepolo 1364
Venice, 30125

30. Charming House iQS

Charming House iQS

As mesmerizing as traditional Venetian style can be, it can be a bit much. This Castello hotel, a sister property to Charming House DD.724, is the antidote. The four modern and sleek suites are the choices for those who don't want an overdone setting.

Campiello Querini Stampalia Sestiere Castello 4425
Venice, 30122

31. Hotel Widener

Hotel Widener

It's a little shabby, but it's not easy to find budget accommodations in Venice. It's pretty — lots of gold and blues, and the San Zaccaria location is great. 

Castello 4161
Venice, 30122

32. Ca'Sagredo Hotel

Ca'Sagredo Hotel

Is it a palazzo? A museum? A hotel? Si, si, si. The common areas, which are anything but common, are breathtakingly beautiful — frescoed walls and ceilings, Murano glass chandeliers, a dramatic marble staircase. There are 42 rooms; try to reserve one overlooking the Grand Canal.

Campo Santa Sofia 4198/99
Venice, 30121

33. Metropole


A quiet charmer right off Piazza San Marco where rooms are decorated with a mix of Oriental, Art Deco, and 18th-century antiques. The family's many collections of objects – fans, corkscrews, nutcrackers – fill display cases and line the walls throughout the four floors. Also on site, Michelin-starred restaurant MET and a chic bar located in the former chapel where Vivaldi taught music.

Riva degli Schiavoni 4149
Venice, 31022

34. Oltre il Giardino

Oltre il Giardino

The former home of Alma Mahler is now a quiet hotel in San Polo with six spacious rooms overlooking a beautiful garden and décor that mixes classic and contemporary styles.

Fondamenta Contarini, San Polo 2542
Venice, 30125