Historic Palazzos: Venice's Most Storied Mansions

One of the richest cities in the world (as far as history goes), Venice is home to hundreds of beautiful historic palazzos -- and luckily for visitors, not only have the majority of them been lovingly -- and painstakingly -- restored, but many have been converted into gorgeous luxury hotels. Here are a handful of our favorites, brimming with antiques, history (storied pasts included), and vintage touches.

Aqua Palace Hotel

A 24-room restored palazzo in the heart of Venice, Aqua Palace Hotel dates back to the 1500s when one of Venice's wealthiest families called the canal-side mansion home. It is conveniently located halfway between the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square, and soft lighting, elegant chandeliers, and classic Venetian architecture give this boutique a peaceful, romantic atmosphere. Many original elements -- such as wooden furniture and the balconies with sweeping views -- remain.

Ca'Sagredo Hotel, Venice

Originally built in the 15th century by the Morosini family, this beautiful palazzo -- right on the Grand Canal -- was purchased by the Sagredos (a family of noble blood) in the 1700s, which is how the hotel got its name. Besides luxurious rooms and a lovely terrace, the Ca'Sagredo Hotel features original frescoes and sculptures from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Al Ponte Antico Hotel

A seven-room residence on the Grand Canal, Al Ponte Antico Hotel is an elegant restored palazzo with a lovely shaded terrace overlooking the Rialto Bridge. Located on a quiet street in the heart of Venice (and just an eight-minute walk to St. Mark's Square), this hotel has huge rooms with flat-screen TVs, gilded-edge headboards, and traditional decor (wallpaper, upholstery, and bedspreads are all patterned) so that guests feel that they have stepped back into the 1500s when the mansion was built.

Boscolo Venezia, Autograph Collection, Venice

This 17th-century palazzo, originally inhabited by one of the most prestigious noble families in Venice, is a quiet retreat from the chaotic heart of the city. The grand lobby and hallways are filled with striking Venetian portraits, lots of marble, frescoes, and big chandeliers, and the preserved hidden garden is rare for a Venice hotel; it enchants with expansive lawns, a white canopied area with lounge chairs (where breakfast is served in warm weather), and meandering pathways surrounded by greenery.

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