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San Clemente

For 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 a hotel and 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.

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 entrance.

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