Driving up to this gorgeous building by boat and stepping through its Grand Canal entrance will make you feel like instant aristocracy, even if you were born a mere commoner. It’s a 15th century nobleman’s house, built at a time when Venice was the heart of a vast and enormously wealthy empire. You can still smell the residue of all that power in the opulent period rooms, up the grandiose marble staircase and throughout each of the magnificently furnished suites. Art lovers will delight in discovering hidden masterpieces, and food lovers will be charmed by the restaurant, which serves up Venetian cuisine at its most refined. Activities include trips to the nearby islands of Murano and Burano and cooking classes with the chef that also include an excursion to the famous Rialto Market.