Next to the Venetian Lagoon, the majestic waters of the river Brenta wind their way between the Palladian villas that once were the favourite haunt of the aristocracy. Among them, Villa Franceschi stands in all its splendour at a bend in the river. This former residence of the doge’s jewelers, with its hectares of forested parkland, is listed as a historic garden and comes complete with an elegant Palladian swimming pool to relax. Its balconies and terraces face the river, as does the restaurant that serves delicious Venetian cuisine. The guest rooms boast marble fireplaces and terracotta floor tiles, and the chandeliers and silks lend a delightful touch. Chef Remigio Dal Corso uses the best produce from the countryside and the lagoon. Vegetables are grown in the villa’s organic garden and on the island of Sant’Erasmo, and fish come directly from the lagoon’s crystal- clear waters.