nearly a thousand years, the island of
San Clemente has
been a hotel or refuge: Crusaders once used the isola as a
stopover on their way to the Holy Land, and it later housed a religious
order. After Napoleon's troops conquered the Venetian Republic, San
Clemente became a hospital; in more recent times, it served as a mental
institution and a cat sanctuary.
About a decade ago, the island was redeveloped as the
San Clemente Palace Hotel
& Resort. The 17th Century buildings were converted into five-star
accommodations, the San Clemente Church (founded in 1131) was restored,
and the six hectares or 15 acres of park-like grounds were brought back
to their original beauty (with a few new amenities such as a swimming
pool and tennis courts). We've stayed at the San Clemente Palace, and we
enjoyed the experience of being on a private island in the Lagoon with
the Piazza San Marco only 15 minutes away by boat.
Update: The San
Clemente Palace Hotel closed late in 2012. In September, 2013,
Turkey's Permak Group acquired the hotel and announced plans to add
new facilities. The hotel is expected to reopen in 2014.
About the satellite images
on this page:
In the first photo below, you can see the Isola
di San Clemente near the bottom of the frame. The
Piazza San Marco is almost due
north of the island (beyond the island of
La Giudecca and the island church of San Giorgio Maggiore).
The second image is a close-up ot San Clemente. The
hotel's free shuttle boats from San Marco pick up and drop off
guests at the dock on the left side of the island (at the top of the
semicircular cut-out), where a paved path leads to the hotel