Hotel Londra Palace in Venice, Italy and a recipe for Grilled Scallops and Octopus, Potato Salad and Spinach Sauce

To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius. – Alexander Herzen

I had always dreamed of visiting Venezia (Venice).  The city of canals and gondolas, masks and mystery, Venice is known as the “Queen of the Adriatic”. With stunning architecture, festivals like Carnavele, and cafés along the Grand Canal and in the Piazza San Marco, Venice held a certain allure for me.  Once the wealthiest city in the world, Venice, throughout most of its long and colorful history, has also been considered one of the most romantic.  I now know why.

Bridges connect the 118 small islands in Venice

We traveled to this fascinating city in June, spending a few days after our Mediterranean cruise.  In traditional American tourist fashion, we wanted to experience as much of the history, culture, food and wine we possibly could fit in our brief stay.  To do that, we needed a hotel that was ideally situated.  We chose Hotel Londra Palace.  While I will have a more in-depth article on Venice in the coming months, I did want to share our experience at this hotel with you in case you are planning a trip to Venice this Fall or Winter.

Hotel Londra Palace overlooks St. Mark’s Basin

The room was appointed with traditional Venetian furnishings and fabric wallpaper

The monument to Victor Emanuel II, first king of a united Italy, is a popular spot to catch artists sketching

Venice is the only pedestrian city in the world.  There are over 118 small islands that are connected by canals and bridges.  There are no cars and the only means of transportation is by water taxi, vaporetto (water bus), gondola or on foot.  The streets and alleyways throughout Venice are a never ending maze of corridors lined with shops, many filled with elaborate Venetian masks and costumes.

Venice is a very colorful city, particularly when looking down the canals

The most romantic way to travel through Venice is by gondola

Hotel Londra Palace, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Virtuoso, JDB Fine Hotels and Resorts, and Condé Nast Johansens, was just minutes from the main tourist attractions at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square).  The hotel is easily accessible by water taxi, the prominent mode of transportation around Venice and to the train station and airport.  Situated on the Riva degli Schiavoni, near the mouth of the Grand Canal, and overlooking St. Mark’s Basin, this beautiful hotel was exactly what I anticipated.  The decor was classic and elegant and the service excellent.

Piazza San Marco – Procuratie Vecchie with shops and cafés (on the right)

Aldo, the Concierge, was very helpful in recommending dining options outside the hotel

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