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San Clemente Palace Hotel

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ABOVE: A map of the San Clemente Palace's private island, showing the chapel (left), the hotel, the shuttle-boat landing (bottom center), and the extensive gardens. INSET: A photo of the island in its pre-hotel days.

The Island of San Clemente

Nearly 900 years ago, the Isola di San Clemente was a refuge for Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. The Chiesa di San Clemente was built on the island in 1131, and a monastery soon followed. Various orders inhabited the island until 1645, when the Camaldolesi monks arrived and restored the church with help from the Venetian nobility. San Clemente was also used by the Doges of the Venetian Republic as a place for meeting and entertaining guests who arrived by sea.

Island of San ClementeDuring the French and Austrian occupations of Venice from 1797 to 1866, monasteries were outlawed and the island of San Clemente was turned into a hospital. Many of the buildings on the island today were built early in the 20th Century.

Early in the 21st Century, the island was acquired by its current owners, who transformed the Renaissance-style buildings into a luxury hotel with 205 rooms and suites, a pool, tennis courts, a small golf course, a spa, and a conference center. The grounds have been painstakingly restored by a year-round team of gardeners, creating what is literally an island of tranquility just 15 minutes by private launch from St. Mark's Square.

For satellite images of the island and its location in the Venetian Lagoon, see Aerial Venice: San Clemente.

Next page: Rooms and suites


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