Monday and Tuesday nights, a dozen or so journalists along with reps from Princess Cruises will be laying their heads on pillows at Venice’s legendary Gritti Palace. We’re in Venice to tour the new Royal Princess, entering the final phases of construction in nearby Monfalcone.
After a night’s rest at the Gritti Palace, I’ll be reporting on our tour of Royal Princess, as well as a special float-out ceremony, here on Avid Cruiser beginning Tuesday. I wouldn’t want to leave this city, however, without a few words about Venice and the Gritti Palace.
A member of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Gritti Palace is a good choice for cruise passengers adding a few days before or after their cruises from Venice, which, of course, every cruiser privileged enough to embark or disembark from Venice should do.
The Gritti Palace dates back to 1525, when the Doge of Venice, Andrea Gritti, commissioned it, with construction beginning that year. The palace became the official residence of the Gritti family, and was later used as the residence of the Vatican Ambassadors to Venice. Later, the palace became home to successive noble families, such as the Pisanis and again the Grittis in 1814.
Years later, the palace was sold to the Baroness Susanna d’Eyb, widow to the Baron Vetzlar. It was during this period that John Ruskin and his young wife Ettie spent a long period at Palazzo Gritti, and the palace was where he wrote his famous book The Stones of Venice.
Throughout the centuries, the Gritti Palace has welcomed illustrious guests. At the beginning of the 19th century, The Gritti Palace was turned into a hotel and annexed to the Grand Hotel. After the Second World War, C.I.G.A. (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi) purchased the Gritti, and on June 5, 1948, it was officially opened as an independent hotel. Ernest Hemingway was one of the first guests.
Since 1994 The Gritti Palace has been part of The Luxury Collection, the Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ luxury brand.
After meticulous restorations throughout the years, the Gritti Palace offers guests a bygone ambience, with original wooden ceilings and entrance flooring, dressing-table mirrors and 18th century wall lamps that were hand-made in Murano.
I’ve been fortunate to have visited Venice several times in my career, and I’ve covered the city extensively here on Avid Cruiser. Check out the videos below as well as the articles that follow in the list at the bottom of this post.
You may also enjoy these Avid Cruiser posts about Venice: