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18th February 2020

Italy – Exploring the Arts in Venice

St Regis Venice San Clemente Palace is a unique hotel situated on its own private island in the heart of the Venice lagoon. The hotel, originally a 17th century monastery, sits surrounded by lush gardens with wonderful views of the city, Giudecca and the lido.

San Clemente Palace Hotel
San Clemente Palace Hotel

The adjacent San Clemente Church is still consecrated making it an ideal venue to host a wedding blessing or to renew vows. Recently restored, the 12th century Romanesque style church has many beautiful sculptures, frescoes and bronze reliefs.

The adjacent San Clemente Church is still consecrated making it an ideal venue to host a wedding blessing or to renew vows. Recently restored, the 12th century Romanesque style church has many beautiful sculptures, frescoes and bronze reliefs.

A table set for a meal after a blessing
San Clemente Church

The San Clemente Palace is an excellent base from which to explore Venice. With the regular, complimentary shuttle on one of their iconic boats, you can escape back to the island whenever the hustle and bustle of Venice gets too much. The boat takes approximately 15 mins to St Mark’s Square and runs every 30 mins.

A river shuttle bus in Venice
Regular river shuttle buses help you get around

Relax with a stroll around the grounds taking in the beautiful gardens and sculptures, or sit and enjoy an afternoon coffee or glass of champagne looking out at the views across the lagoon. If you are feeling more energetic perhaps a swim in the pool or a game of tennis?

Breakfast is served in the Insieme Restaurant and dinner in the Aquerella Restaurant. You can also eat al fresco at La Dolce restaurant and bar. We enjoyed drinks in the San Clemente Bar before and after dining out in Venice. Rooms are spacious and well appointed, luxurious and elegant with views of the lagoon or gardens. For more information please do get in touch with us.

Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal is an unfinished palace and worth a visit even if you think modern art is a load of Jackson Pollocks! The museum first opened to the public in 1951 and Peggy Guggenheim lived here for 30 years.

A sculpture at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni
A sculpture at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni

Not only is the building itself architecturally interesting, but there is also the Nasher Sculpture Garden as well as other temporary exhibitions. We were lucky to catch the exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s Mural: Energy Made Visible which runs until November 16, but the permanent collection includes works by Kandinsky, Dali and Picasso to name but a few.

After our visit we returned through the back streets of Venice. Our son is interested in street art – Grafitti as Art? He wanted to get photos of interesting examples for his own blog so we followed him around as he took some snaps!

A heart drawn on a Venetian wall
A heart drawn on a Venetian wall

As we meandered along we came across a couple of other interesting art installations, one of which really appealed to us. Conversion. Recycle Group which runs until 22 November, is a project that relates the life of modern man and his need for gadgets, data transmission speed and constant data refreshing and compares it to a kind of new ‘religion’, set within a backdrop of the ancient church was very thought provoking – especially the huge Facebook crucifix and bas-relief apostles who appear to be worshiping their media!

Finally I wanted to take my son to the coolest bookshop in the world, which I had first stumbled on when I was Lost in Venice last year!

Libreria Acqua Alta - A wonderfully quirky bookstore!
Libreria Acqua Alta – A wonderfully quirky bookstore!

Libreria Acqua Alta is literally piled high with books old and new, crammed into old boats and bath tubs and with a unique staircase built from books leading up to a view of the canal. You could spend quite a while here taking photos and enjoying the quirky charm!

By Telina Lawrence
18th February 2020