Think Venice, think snap-happy Japanese tourists, stinky side streets and astonishingly beautiful old buildings sinking into the sea. Right? Well, yes…but with the opening of century old Italian grooming brand Acqua Di Parma’s new spa in one of the city’s grandest (and not to mention oldest) residences, it would seem that there’s life in the old girl yet.
Built by the Pisani family in 1475 and used as the private residence of Doge Andrea Gritti in 1525, the Gritti Palace was transformed into a hotel in the late 19th century. Now, following an extensive restoration, the hotel – which overlooks the imposing Santa Mara della Salute church on the Grand Canal – is open for business once again. And the (very male-friendly) spa is a prime attraction.
Featuring a range of suites, private showers, a Turkish bath, sauna and an aromatherapy area, the array of treatments on offer is equally extensive. To make the best of the spa (Acqua di Parma’s second after Porto Cero in Northern Sardinia) opt for a Full-Day Escape, which includes an hour-long massage and three additional treatments. We went for the reflexology foot massage; it’s ideal if you’ve been trying to keep pace with the Japanese tourists.