This place shouldn’t exist. That was the thought that ran through my head when my water taxi turned sharply around the bend and I saw Venice floating ahead in the distance. It was late afternoon and I was standing up in the back of the private boat I had impulsively splurged on upon arriving at the Marco Polo airport. The sun was still high and strong but we were going fast and the salty breeze was more than enough to keep me cool. Every few minutes we would cross the wake of the boat ahead of us and I would tighten my grip on my camera, hoping the wind would cover my inner five-year-old’s squeals and laughter.
My god, when was the last time you had an adventure? Where you’re so out of your regular life that the world opens up and you see clearly for the first time in what feels like always?
That’s what these trips of mine mean to me. The chance to see clearly.
I got to my hotel, the Boscolo Venezia (Dei Dogi Venezia) in time to unpack and do a tiny bit of exploring before dinner. The hotel is just steps from the lagoon, in the quiet residential neighborhood of Madonna dell’Orto — a bit out of the way of the major attractions but a welcome respite after a long day among the crowds of Venice’s high tourist season.
With regards to the hotel itself, my amateurish photography skills cannot do the interior design justice so definitely take a look at their website.
The Dei Dogi is located in a seventeenth century palazzo, formerly owned by the noble families of Patarol and Rizzi. When the palazzo was first built the Madonna dell’Orto district was the only cultivated land in Venice and, to this day, the property is home to the largest garden in the entire city.
The garden has little hidden nooks where you can reflect on a statue of the Virgin Mary or sit quietly and read on an ancient stone bench. If you’re lucky, you may also get a visit from one of the somewhat standoffish locals.
For dinner, I decided to keep it simple and dine at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant. From wine to desert, it was delicious.
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about the best part of all.
Once you make your way through the garden, keep walking until you reach the back gate of the property. Go through it. There you will find a small dock extending out over the lagoon with a few chairs set out. Sit down. Be still. And take in one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see.
Sogni d’oro, my gorgeous readers.
Categories: NYC & Travel