From ‘La Serenissima’ to the ski slopes
A region of rivers, romance, and dreamy alpine backdrops, Veneto is as rich as a Renaissance masterwork. And while many travellers make Venice their only stop, venture just two hours inland to uncover its hidden charms, from tumbling mountain towns to ski resorts. Our experienced Travel Advisors can help you plan your trip, pairing in-the-know tips with some of the best luxury hotels in Veneto, all in one inspiring itinerary.
AT A GLANCE
- A two-week independent itinerary in Veneto based on flying in and out of Venice airports.
- With hand-picked SLH boutique hotels as your base, explore a cobweb of canals, high-up hikes and snow-capped peaks.
- Highlights include exploring the empty streets of Venice, spellbinding scenery in Asolo and skiing among the sun-drenched Dolomites in Cortina.
START IN STYLE: VENICE
Spend winter in Venice, and you’ll soon see where it earned its nickname La Serenissima, meaning ‘the most serene’. The city is at its quietest from September to November – think morning mist dancing under bridges and across peaceful piazzas. Soundless walks interrupted only by the soft splash of the day’s first gondolas. And footsteps echoing around iconic sights that high-season tourists have all but abandoned. Whether you see the expanse of mosaics in St Mark’s Basilica, or escape the chill at La Fenice opera house, you can almost pretend you’re the first to discover this city of wonders.
This season, swap gelato for molten hot chocolates – a Venetian speciality most summer travellers miss. Almost too thick to be called a drink, this dessert-like treat is best savoured while strolling through the winding city streets.
Venice is home to four of our boutique hotels, with choices including Renaissance palaces in the historic centre, and a modern retreat at the mouth of the Grand Canal. Suggested stay 4 nights.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: ASOLO
Quaint cobbled streets. Shutters opening out over flower-filled window baskets. Cypress trees surrounding tan-coloured tiles. The town of Asolo seems straight from a painter's canvas. Just an hour from Venice, artists and poets have made this town home throughout history – 16th-century cardinal Pietro Bembo called it the Town of a Hundred Horizons, referencing the hills that wrap around it.
Once you've seen the sights of this sleepy town centre (this should only take a leisurely day), go in search of those hundred hilltop views. The pre-Roman Rocca fortress is a half-hour near-vertical walk boasting spectacular views of the Po Valley plain below. Or hike the six-and-a-half-mile trail to neighbouring town Cornuda, with its museums and historic sights.
SETTLE IN FOR THE NIGHT
Soak in all that this bewitching town has to offer from Albergo al Sole, a 16th century villa with a terrace restaurant made for taking in those low winter sunsets. Suggested stay 4 nights.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: CORTINA
Cortina has a history as steep as its slopes. Though its heritage begins 1,000 years ago, people only started to take notice following the 1956 Winter Olympics. And despite attracting attention, Cortina fares well in the face of tourism, retaining its traditional Italian charm.
Though the pretty town is well worth exploring (it was one of Ernest Hemingway's favourite spots), its best enjoyed from above. Head to the peak of the Armentarola for 360-degree views of the Dolomite mountains, then glide down through its wild landscapes. Take the cable car to Faloria, then from here, head to the Passo Tre Croci chairlifts that will bring you right up to the dramatic slopes beneath Cristallo.
UNPACK YOUR SUITCASE
Piercing the heart of the Dolomites, Rosapetra Spa Resort makes a romantic mountain retreat. Spend days skiing, then cosy up in your wood-cabin room, drinking in the views from your private terrace. Suggested stay 5 nights.
Venice has two airports – Marco Polo and Treviso. When you’re ready to swap the city for the hills, we’d recommend hiring a car. It’s just an hour and a half to Asolo, then two and a half hours from there to Cortina. For in-depth details about transfers or transport provided by individual hotels, just ask our Voice Reservation Team.
BOOK YOUR BOUTIQUE HOTELS
To book the hotels on this independent itinerary, get in touch with our Voice Reservation Team on 0800 0482 314 (UK) & 1-877-234-7033 (US). You can find a full list of our dedicated toll-free numbers here. We're ready and waiting to plan luxury adventures 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So whenever inspiration strikes, just get in touch.