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Palazzo Bembo

Palazzo Bembo and Grand Canal

ABOVE: The Palazzo Bembo is a 15h Century Venetian Gothic palace that offers exhibitions and--on the top floor--an intimate six-room hotel. INSET BELOW: A view of the Rialto Bridge and the ACTV waterbus stop from the hotel, and the palazzo's candlelit courtyard.

Category:  Unrated (€€€).

Location: On the Grand Canal, close to the Rialto Bridge. Nearest Alilaguna Airport Boat stop: Rialto.

Convenient when:

You want atmospheric, luxurious lodgings on the Venetian waterfront, but you aren't willing to pay for a five-star hotel.

Palazzo Bembo view of Rialto BridgeThe Palazzo Bembo may not be the Gritti Palace or the Danieli, but it's the real deal if you're looking for aristocratic digs: The house, which built for the noble Bembo family in the 15th Century, is a spectacular waterfront palazzo that tourists admire as they ride up or down the Grand Canal on the No. 1 vaporetto. (You can read more about the building at Palazzobembo.org.)

Palazzo Bembo courtyard and candlesThe palazzo's top floor--which is accessible by elevator--has been converted into an intimate hotel with four elegantly-furnished double rooms and two junior suites. Rates include a bottle of Prosecco (the Venetian answer to Champagne)when you check in, free Wi-Fi, and breakfast served in the dining room or your own quarters.

Public transportation is close by, and an inexpensive traghetto gondola ferry to the San Polo side of the Grand Canal leaves from the Riva del Carbon in front of the palazzo.

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Aerial photos:

  • In the top satellite photo, the Palazzo Bemto is on the south side of the Grand Canal, just to the right of the Calle Bembo. The Rialto vaporetto platforms and Alilaguna airport-boat stop are nearby along the waterfront.

  •  In the second photo (which was taken from the north), the Palazzo Bembo is the large rose-colored building behind the private boat piers. To reach the Rialto Bridge, you just walk along the water and through the arcaded passage under the white building next door.

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