The extraordinary city of Venice welcomes every year 27 million of tourists on its 500 hectares of historical center at open air.
In the last decades, the heart of the lagoon has seen the growth of the hospitality sector, with a wide offer of structures offering any possible kind of commodity.
If the center is more and more crowded and less appealing for tourists and professionals, the city offers an alternative, just behind the corner.
The new destinations are the numerous islands composing the Venetian lagoon, far from the mass circuits and able to reveal surprising locations.
In March 2015, the JW Marriott Group (4100 properties in 79 countries, generating incomes in 2014 for $ 14 billion) has opened its first Italian resort on the Isola delle Rose.
Born from the lagoon around 1870, this island has been used as shelter for boats, clinic and working man’s club, before being renovated.
The property, set on 16 hectares, offers 5 different type of accommodations, the largest Spa in Venice (1750 m2 of partnership with GOCO, one of the world’s greatest authorities in wellness), 4 restaurants and 3 bars.
Water, silence and nature are the three elements ruling on the island: the building is surrounded by 12 hectares of garden, while the style chosen for the interiors wants to create a dialogue with the lagoon and the history of the place.
Close to the Isle of the Roses there is the Isle of San Clemente, where the Kempinski group (founded in 1897, with 78 properties in 33 countries) is managing its new palace in the lagoon.
In the past, the island has welcomed a monastery, a military base, a psychiatric hospital and from March 2016, after renovation works, a luxury hotel.
On its 7 hectares, the San Clemente Palace Kempinski offers a total of 191 rooms and suites with view on the lagoon, 6 between bars and restaurants, a spa and a fitness center.
Clients can have a walk in the property for admiring the gardens, the monastery and the church of the XII century.
In the northern side of the lagoon, the island of Mazzorbo offers another kind of unique experience.
Born from an idea of Gianluca Bisol, the owner of the Prosecco historical brand, this resort is developed around the discovery of the Dorona, the native grape of Venice, loved by the Dogi and disappeared with the end of the Serenissima.
From 2002, the Venissa project wants to give a second chance to the treasures of the Venetian lagoon.
Around 4000 pieces are produced on this little land snatched from the salty water and where also the bottles are a local product made in Murano.
The secret vineyard is less than one hectare and it occupies half of the available land. The resort offers also a one-star Michelin restaurant where it is possible to appreciate a typical Venetian menu and a very limited number of accommodations on the islands of Mazzorbo and Burano (linked through a very suggestive wooden bridge).
The trend, launched by these international groups, is very appreciated by clients, who look for authenticity, silence and unexpected locations, close to one of the most touristic site all over the world.
The competition is moving in this direction and the islands of the lagoon have caught the attention of big players willing to invest in this delicate eco-system.
One of these is the Delle Grazie Island, between Giudecca and San Clemente, in the southern part of the lagoon.
Property of the Stefanel group from the beginning of 2015 with an investment of € 11.200 million, the project sees the creation of a luxury resort 10 minutes far from San Marco square.
This 4 hectares island has a long history: artificially born in the Middle Age from the lagoon (this site was used as rubbish tip from the Venetians), it has hosted the pilgrims back from the Holy Land, a monastery, a powder magazine (exploded in 1849) and, more recently, an infectious diseases hospital until the end of the twentieth century.
In other cases, some islands are waiting for a new landlord. Crevan is one of these. Totally renovated with its Austrian walls, 4 rooms, 3 guestrooms, a big living room and the conciergerie, the offering price is about € 9.5 million for this half-an-hectare isle in the northern part of the lagoon.
Very close to the city center and, at the same time, far from the touristic flows and the noise, the client of these resorts looks for a voyage inside the voyage.
From this unusual point of view, each crossing of the lagoon is comparable to a new experience, where the destination is a dive into a unique atmosphere.
The islands are like parallel worlds where to escape for enjoying the silence and the landscapes of a city revealing something new every time, even if it is unchanged from centuries.