Bauer Il Palazzo
During winter’s aqua alta, or high-water season, Venetians forgo designer shoes and instead slosh around their city in rubber boots. Sirens warn residents and visitors to move to higher ground as rising Adriatic tides creep into the streets, often for a few hours each day. Francesca Bortolotto Possati, owner of the Bauer Il Palazzo hotel, serves as a board member of Save Venice, an organization formed in response to floods in 1966, when tides covered Piazza San Marco with a record 4 feet of water. Possati also works diligently to preserve her family’s legacy, the Bauer, located a short walk from the pizazza at the end of the Grand Canal. After living in Texas, Michigan, and New York, and earning two English degrees and a pilot’s license, Possati returned to Italy in 1997 to run her grandfather’s Bauer-Grünwald hotel. She split the 18th-century palace into two smaller properties, L’ Hotel and Il Palazzo, and invested $38 million to restore both. Possati also added amenities such as a solar/electric boat that shuttles guests through the canals. Accommodations Possati decorated the 44 rooms and 38 suites with tapestry wall hangings, antique furnishings, and Murano glass chandeliers. Several of the Accommodations have terraces, and most afford views of the canal. Facilities A fitness room and health spa, and a rooftop Jacuzzi with views of Venice and the lagoon. Dining The canal-level De Pisis for gourmet dinners, the high-and-dry Settimo Cielo terrace for breakfast, and Bar Foyer for cocktails and grappa. Concierge Recommends Private jet service to Verona for an opera at the Arena, the third-largest surviving Roman amphitheater. Rates Double rooms from about $1,055, the Royal Suite from $8,210.