VENICE: Venice is more than canals and shops. Experienced the right way it is a privilege to those that embrace travel done well. It is history frozen in time. As foreign as a wholly different planet.
It is as if a masquerade will spontaneously take place, and you are in its center. Staying at the Hotel Londra Palace in the Castello Sestieri means fully experiencing the privilege of being in Venice.
Venezia and The Londra Palace History
Much as it is today, Venice is the city of La Serenissima, or serenity. Unfortunately, visit during high-tourism season and serenity is difficult to find. The City of Bridges is full of humanity climbing up and down over the canal bridges. So head east, away from San Marco and the tourists to find the calm waters flowing from the Mediterranean Sea into the San Marco Basin.
Venice’s 19th-century history includes its first steps towards independence following the Venetian Republic being defeated by Napoleon 1n 1797. IN 1848, the Venetians fought to be free of the Hapsburg, the 1860 army of Guiseppe Garibaldi, a much-revered name for the island nation, to gain some independence under the Savoia dynasty. It was in 1866, following the 3rd Independence war, that Venice joined Italy.
The building that is now the Hotel Londra Palace was built in 1853.
This historic hotel prides itself on having, over its life of 150 years, received artists and celebrities such as Tchaikovsky, D’Annunzio, and Borges. They are among the thousands of visitors who have found themselves captivated by the Londra Palace.
From Londra Palace, getting about is quick and easy: there’s a water taxi right in front of the hotel and public water buses are within walking distance. However, the best mode of transportation is to take a walk and explore the Castello neighborhood.
Every area of the Londra Palace area is designed to stir the emotions and promote well-being. In the refurbished and luminous sitting rooms on the ground floor, the connection with the outside world is enhanced by the use of glass and the glass bears a reminder of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s stay.
The Riva degli Schiavoni promenade
The Riva degli Schiavoni is a promenade that runs from St. Marks to the Venetian Aresenal, the oldest in the world. It is the perfect place to stroll along the basicn sample fabulous aperitifs, take lunch or dinner, drink tea, or just relax. A variety of hotels, each worthy of a visit, line the walkway.
Frequently ranked among Venice’s top hotels, The Londra Palace takes travelers out of the rush and push of Venice’s undulating foot traffic. Moving away the shoulder to shoulder walkways, walking easterly the esplanade widens, the San Marco Basin flowing to the Eastern Mediterranian sea on the right, historic Venice along the left.
This is where Venetians go to get away from the unending crush of Venice’s tourists. This is where the hotels are calm and the evenings quiet.
The Londra Palace
The Londra Palace has 53 rooms with one-hundred windows look out onto the San Marco Basin that flows to the Mediterranian Sea. Hotel Londra Palace is, by many, thought to be the most Venetian of all hotels. Guests that have signed the hotel’s register include Tchaikovsky, D’Annunzio, and Borges. Berliners and Kubins.
The hotel is located beyond the tourist-packed San Marco sesteria, sitting in the Castello district. San Marco, with the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and Dogi’s Palace is mere steps from The Londra Palace, however, an imaginary line seems to stop the masses who are unaware of the beauty found by walking easterly.
The Londra Palace is a wonderful hybrid of extreme luxury with the warmth of a boutique hotel.
Windows and terraces look out over the San Marco Basin, however, the views over the roofs and church towers from the other side of the building are as breathtaking.
A monument to Victor Emmanuel II stands regally before the Londra Palace, greeting each sunrise. Emmanuel was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861 before becoming the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878.
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The monument features many of Venice’s capstone images, including the winged lion that is a symbol of the city and Venice’s patron saint, St. Mark.
Suites for Royalty at Londra Palace
Stepping into a junior suite overlooking the San Marco Basin, the room is immediately calming. The walls are richly covered in fabric, bringing an immediate visual and audible hush to the room. A hush further accented by lush carpet beneath your feet. Biedermeier-style furniture, an interpretation of French Empire Style mostly attributed Napoleon I. This art, architecture and furniture style (18715-1858) brought the romance of the ancient high Roman Empire style and is offset with rich tapestries, furniture covered in richly hued velvets, and heavy brocade drapes and curtains.
The highly polished wood hues perfect against the rooms blue color palate.
A deeply comfortable kings size bed with fabric upholstery headboard is made private with heavy drapes ensuring a good night sleep. Bathrooms are well appointed and feature luxe Ortigia amenities. When partaking in luxury travel, the scents and quality of bath amenities are very important. Capturing these smell years after your visit to Venice will immediately take you back to this place and time, as they should.
Luxuriating in bath or shower, Ortigia sensually immerses you into an aura of Venetian romance. A small Italian soap and scent company, Ortigia is based in Florence. The products scents come from regional plants and spices. Featured at the Londra Palace is the Ambra Nera collection, a scent with hints of resin and spice from labdan, an ancient brown resin from the cistus rockrose shrub.
Labdan has been in use since the ancient times as a natural remedy and perfume ingredient. Other scents are of the earth, musk, and the spicy green scents. The scent is suitable for man or woman.
De Leoni Restaurant
The De Leoni, is a temple to Venetian cuisine, thanks to the artistry of its chef, Loris Indri. Loris combines tradition and innovation, offering the stimulation of good food with the pleasure of dining in elegant atmosphere-filled surroundings.
The Hotel Londra Palace offers to dine inside, or on a beautiful June evening, the choice is their front terrace, with its canopy overhead and the sounds of the bay just feet away. Offering diners a bit of privacy, the terrace is surrounded by small white laurel flowers, easy for diners to see over, while still obscuring the tables. The views of the bay and the church are breathtaking.
Chef Loris Indri – a master of the sea
Dinner is one delectable dish from the sea after another. None disappoint. All entice savoring Chef Loris Indri classical Venitian plates. Dinner starts with a surprise – succulent sea scallops with the roe attached. Scallops, as a dish is usually the adductor muscle that opens and closes the shell.
A delicacy is the bright red roe, or reproductive muscle of the scallop bright against the green froth.
Years of dining, this is the first time to enjoy scallops with the roe. A delicacy of unparallel delight. The roe is usually shucked away from the mollusk because it must be kept alive. A scallop with roe is guaranteed to be the absolute freshest you can have.
The roe is delicious. Like a fresh scallop only one-hundred times better. It has a bit more brine to it. And the texture is different, more like liver than the flake of the scallop. The color of the roe tells the sex of the mollusk – pink for girls, off white for boys. As a bonus, the scallop roe is a superfood.
Squid ink pasta
Chef Idris is a master of seafood and pasta paying a personal homage to Venice location on the Adriatic sea. The creative skill of the chef, as well as the excellent choice of ingredients used in the dishes, make this a Michelin Guide restaurant.
Venetian cuisine with a modern twist it is. Fully in evidenced by his whitefish in squid ink pasta triangles. The pasta is firm, flavorful. The generous packets hold the moist, flavorful fish. The flavors are accented with lemon and mint for a rich and satisfying gift from the sea.
Treated royally at the Londra Palace
What truly makes the Londra Palace and De Leoni restaurant special is the people. The incredible warmth of the Venetians is on display from the moment you arrive. From when Manager Alain Bullo first greats you to the second you are bid goodbye. Making promises to return to the Hotel Londra Palace on the San Marco basin.